Can you believe that The Expendables, the love letter to great action movies written and directed by one of the Mt. Rushmore action heroes, Sly Stallone, has only a 42% approval rating on Rottentomatoes? I mean, this movie was a feat of action, bringing together some of the greatest action heroes together for a pretty solid adventure. It harkened back to the throwback days of simple, dumb, but incredibly fun movies full of ass-kicking, explosions, and lots of guns.
The Critics Consensus
It makes good on the old-school action it promises, but given all the talent on display, The Expendables should hit harder.
“Should hit harder”?? Are you out of your goddamn minds? You’re up here trying to say that a movie featuring Stallone, Willis, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Statham, and Jet Li going up against a drug lord played by Eric Roberts and about a thousand anonymous henchmen led by STONE COLD STEVEN AUSTIN DOESN’T HIT HARD? Get the fuck out of here with that.
Now we have to admit…
- Yeah the plot is a little by-the-numbers, but where it tries to be inventive it kind of goes off the rails. I mean, why does Barney feel like he has to go back for this girl? Because of that stupid story Tool told him? Sorry, not buying it.
- These characters are so one-dimensional you could fold them up and make them into paper airplanes. I mean, does Toll Road serve any purpose in this movie other than to have the weird cauliflower ear everyone can make jokes about?
- The basketball court scene. Just…it’s bad. It’s so bad.
- The first half of the movie is basically this team trying to be super sneaky spies and being absolutely trash at it. There is zero chance Eric Roberts didn’t see them coming from a mile away.
- All the drama between Barney and Lee and all the girls is so bad and unnecessary. News flash, not every movie needs some ridiculous love story drama.
- Speaking of which, every single character’s name sounds like it was made up by a 12-year old. “Barney Ross?” “Lee Christmas?” “Toll Road?” “Gunner Jensen?” “Hale Caesar?” “Yin Yang?” Newsflash Sly, just because a name is a pun doesn’t mean it’s funny.
But come on now…
- Do I need to list the cast again? Stallone, Willis, Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Steve Austin, Lundgren, fucking Terry Crews! Of all the main cast, Randy Couture is probably the one most likely to get his ass kicked in a rumble. How often can you say that?
- Do you like needless explosions? Big guns? Big guys holding big guns? NO? WHY NOT?
- This movie is shot and made by a guy who knows how to shoot action. And it’s starring guys who know how to do action. Every action scene is clean as hell. I respect that.
- Terry Crews gunning down twenty guys with an auto shotgun and saying “remember this at Christmas.” That is all.
- In fact that whole tunnel scene is incredible. It features Stallone 1v1 against Stone Cold!
- The chase scene with Jet Li in the back of a truck is masterful. And then he fights Dolph in a machine shop for no reason? Oh god it’s so unnecessary and cheesy and I loved every minute of it!