The Expendables at workThese guys have been individually kicking ass with razing explosions igniting the scenes behind them for 30 years – give or take. Who better to unite three generations of action heroes on screen than the original punching bag, Sylvester Stallone.

They are the Expendables: leader and mastermind Barney Ross (Stallone), former SAS blade expert Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), hand-to-hand combat specialist Yin Yang (Jet Li), long barrel weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), demolitions expert Toll Road (Randy Couture), and precision sniper Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren).  Living life in the fringes of the law, these hardened, highly skilled mercenaries take on what appears to be a routine assignment: a covert, CIA-funded operation to infiltrate the South American country of Vilena and overthrow its ruthless dictator General Garza (David Zayas).  But when their job is revealed to be a suicide mission, the men are faced with a deadly choice – one that might redeem their souls or destroy their brotherhood forever.

This film epitomizes all that is enjoyable about action movies. The dialogue is bad and predictable, often delivered with awkward pauses. The jokes are fairly lame, save for the occasional good insult. However, the running joke regarding Li’s height is consistently hilarious. The action on the other hand is expectedly outstanding. The physicality of these actors cannot be denied, bringing fans back to a time when the performers’ real sweat and brute strength graced the screen. The fight scenes are awesome and include Lundgren vs. Li and Couture vs. Steve Austin.

The explosions and mass destruction are executed on an epic scale. The final battle is awe-inspiring with countless bombs exploding successively and debris and buildings falling everywhere. The super-guns they employ throughout are incredible with unbelievable power and acoustic bang. Furthermore, video game-grade violence means too-red blood is bursting from kill shots, bodies are being split in two by powerful gunfire and a stream of corpses comically fly past corridors.

As veterans of the action genre, these guys definitely know what they are doing; they each know and understand their role as their own style of tough guy. Unquestionably an action movie expert, Stallone did a great job writing these roles to fit the conventional and beloved formula. The cameos by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are more than fitting. Furthermore, as an ex-member of the Expendables, Mickey Rourke’s rough exterior, soulful guidance and search for true love is entirely appropriate though seemingly out of place amongst the rest of the guys.

Fans of old school action flicks could not ask for more than the explosiveness that is The Expendables.

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