I really wanted to like this film. Like, a lot. It was meant to be a throwback to every balls-to-the-wall, strap-yourself-in-and-‘ooh’-at-the-pretty-fireballs movie I’d spent my pocket money on as a kid. Sly Stallone was giving us a great chance to relive the glory of the eighties to mid-nineties action stars, while working in the guys who almost inherited the crown, like Jet Li and Jason Statham.
But unfortunately, this stinks to high heaven of the fun-sucking Hollywood machine. The Expendables’s plot isn’t manufactured round awesome set-pieces, instead it’s manufactured round awesome egos and contractual obligations. The core cast fights for rights to the cheesy lines and camera-time. Unfortunately, this kind of dialogue only works if there’s a ‘straight man’ character. Without that, they all just sound like they’re unable to hold a normal conversation.
It’s a frustrating two hours as the inept script tries desperately to find an emotional core in every character. Naturally, none of these end up being fulfilled to a satisfying level. The filmmakers should’ve taken a leaf out of the Statham-vehicle Transporter series – don’t overthink it, we’ll go with you, we promise.
There’s a couple of good fight scenes and a helluva lot of explosions but this excursion seems to be very lacking in the fun factor.