The Expendables

In The Expendables, there is  possibly the greatest ensemble of action stars ever in a movie and includes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Coture, Steve Austin, Eric Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Terry Crews, and Mickey Rourke.

Along with the star power comes an equally impressive array of weapons and I-wish-I-could-do-that-in-real-life skilled use of weapons.

Stallone has a Kimber 1911 and a single action  revolver. The 1911 fires at a rate close to slow full auto. The single action is deployed with deadly accuracy as quick as anything the legendary Bob Munden was capable of doing.

Statham uses a loop handled knife in the vain of James Coburn in the Magnificent Seven but is faster, deadlier, and flashier than Coburn ever was.

Crews has an automatic shotgun, the MPS AA-12 Sledgehammer that fires exploding shells. Crews leaves big holes and spattering body parts in his wake.

You can read specifics of the arsenal in an article located in of all places, MTV.

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1645843/20100816/story.jhtml

It was a thrill and a movie dream come true to see all those stars on the screen. It was filled with action and in that regard it was top notch.

What didn’t I like? The camera work was too shaky and the editing too choppy to fully highlight the action, especially the fighting. Seeing Jet Li’s movies, you know he has the moves and is the man but watching this movie he appeared to be as any other cookie cutter movie fighter. The editing leaves one wanting clear actions scenes but ultimately leaves one disappointed because the movie provides very little.

Also disappointing was the lack of character development. The movie never explains how the group banded together or what makes the individuals tick.  Nonetheless there are a few glimpses. Rourke is given a few moments to reveal how he has died inside but it comes off artificial. Lundgren is given some dimension as the team member that goes over the edge. Statham has his moment of humanity with the beautiful Charisma Carpenter. As I reflect, Li has the best moments on the screen when he continually pesters Stallone for more money because he has a son to support and then ultimately reveals why he should have a bigger share.  In the movie’s defense, the movie is  1 hour 45 minute film so maybe an extra 15 to 30 minutes may have helped in character development.

Bottom line: I’d buy it in Blu Ray.

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