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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin
DIRECTED BY
Sylvester Stallone
SCREENPLAY
Sylvester Stallone, Dave Callaham
MPAA RATING
Rated R
RUNNING TIME
103 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Lionsgate
DVD EXTRAS
Ultimate Recon Mode: An Interactive BonusView™ Viewing Experience (Blu-ray exclusive) • Audio Commentary with Sylvester Stallone
"Inferno: The Making of The Expendables" Documentary (Blu- rayexclusive)
"From the Ashes: Postproduction and Release" Documentary (Blu-ray exclusive)
Comic-Con 2010 Panel (Blu-ray exclusive)
Deleted Scene
Gag Reel
Marketing Archive
BD Touch™ and Metamenu™ Remote Enabled for iPhone®/iPod®/iPad® Interactivity
D-Box Motion Control Enabled
Lionsgate Live™ BD-Live menu system lets you access exclusive content, special offers, ringtones and more!
 "The Expendables" Review 
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Last night, I found myself sitting in the Grandstand bleachers of the Indiana State Fair. What does this have to do with Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables?

More than you could possibly imagine.

I was at the concert of one of my favorite 80's rockers, Dr. Noah Drake himself...Rick Springfield. Springfield, whose heartthrob good looks and smooth pop lyrics led to a string of mid-80's and early 90's hits, is soon to be 61-years-old.

61.

I was stunned. I argued the fact with a co-worker and she proceeded to prove me wrong. Then, in the middle of the concert, Springfield himself even announced the fact. Yet, even at the age of 61, Springfield served up a high octane, pitch perfect, personable and entertaining concert and I dare say he continues to look far better than I ever will.

It's doubtful that any of Stallone's action buddy heroes will ever win a contest for heartthrob looks, but this equally high octane, unabashedly gratuitous and action-heavy flick will undoubtedly please longtime fans of Stallone or any of the film's other aging action stars. Yet, beyond the casting novelty, The Expendables is a hyped up, sped up and amped up action flick without purpose, without soul and without much in the way of originality to hold the interest of anyone beyond those hoping Stallone can grab another 15 minutes of Hollywood fame.

When an ex-CIA rogue takes over a Caribbean island nation, Barney (Stallone) and his "Expendables" are called into action to take out the newly in power dictator.  They succeed. They retire. They have fun. They get called back into action. If The A-Team had chosen action over cuteness, it would have looked a lot like this film.

That's it.

Seriously.

If you're expecting much more in plot from a film co-written, directed by and starring Stallone, then you're entering the film with seriously unrealistic expectations. While Stallone is front and center here, Jason Statham is the clear highlight and about the only actor here, possibly excepting going back down on his luck Mickey Rourke, to actually exhibit a cinematic personality.

The Expendables is simply an excuse for a bunch of former A-list action stars to get together one more time. It's just a shame that it couldn't have been for a more worthy effort.

The Expendables is so over-the-top, so monstrously loud and so sub-moronic that it's actually difficult to find words to adequately review the film. After all, how many ways can you say stupid?

Stupid. Dumb. Silly. Moronic. Sub-Moronic. Imbecilic.

Okay. Okay. You get the point.

Of course, it's seriously doubt that anyone attending The Expendables gives a rat's ass about character development, a cohesive storyline or that dastardly thing called acting. For these people, maybe that's you, The Expendables may very well be worth the time with its relentless action, fight scenes, explosions and such.

Realistically, The Expendables likely deserves lower than a 2-star rating. However, it's difficult to completely trash a film that, for the most part, accomplishes darn near exactly what it sets out to accomplish.

My cup of tea?

Not in the least.

However, if you're looking for a pure, unadulterated action flick then The Expendables is for you.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 
    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
    • B: 3 Stars                         
    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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