Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Expendables

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Dir: Sylvester Stallone (Rambo (2008), Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IIV, Rocky Balboa)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Giselle Itié, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Eric Roberts, David Zayas, Charisma Carpenter, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwartzenegger
USA, 2010

Seen: August 24, 2010

Reason to see: With this ensemble of action stars, you couldn't keep me away.

I've been looking forward to The Expendables ever since I heard of the idea, Stallone directing a film with lots of action stars and going back to the idea of the 80's all-out-action extravaganza. But then, the early reviews started piling in and it was all 'it's the manliest movie of all time!" and "testosterone-filled-yadda-yadda", etc. which got me a bit concerned that I not only might not enjoy the film but also may emerge from the theatre with a 5 o'clock shadow. Would it be a boys-only club? I certainly hoped not. I'm a fan of the majority of the cast, and remember vividly the first time I saw each of stars Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li and Jason Statham on the screen. In each case I was so impressed by their work that I enthusiastically make an effort to see their films.

The good news is, The Expendables is manly, but it isn't just for the boys. Sure it's full of explosions and guns and knifes and fights, but it also has one heck of a sense of humour and a lot of heart. Action, humour and heart - manly or not, that sounds good enough for me. I actually really enjoyed the sense of humour in the film, is mostly self effacing with old jokes and short jokes and primarily directed and reflected back to the main guys in the film instead of poking fun at other people. But what really won me over in the film was an active intolerance of cruelty. That's when I knew it was an action film for me, and I think it's actually a brilliant choice to combine this kind of sensibility with action stars we already know and love because that makes actually care about them even more as we root for them as they blow stuff up.

The film follows a band of mercenaries led by Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and includes Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) and Ying Yang (Jet Li). They are good at what they do and are mostly interested in getting the job done but not just any job and not by just any means. They have a sense of honour alongside their sense of humour. To be honest, that's all you really need to know going it. It's a great action film with fun fights, a lot of hear and some great cameos. I had tons of fun watching it and it will definitely be one of the best action films of the year. I can't wait to see it again.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll buy it
I highly recommend it to action fans

5 minutes of preshow including 1 commercial and 1 preview: Tron: Legacy

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010

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