The Expendables is a hard-hitting action/thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator. Once the mission begins, the men realize things aren’t quite as they appear, finding themselves caught in a dangerous web of deceit and betrayal. With their mission thwarted and an innocent life in danger, the men struggle with an even tougher challenge, one that threatens to destroy this band of brothers.
The story isn’t bad. A woman is dedicated to her people and she is involved in an assassination attempt against someone she knows very well. We won’t plot spoil by saying who it is, but it turns out to be a bit surprising. She is loyal to her country and decides to stay after a failed attempt to bring down the corrupt government, a foreign corrupt government in South America. This impresses Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) who goes back to the country a second time in order to help her.
The film is filled with action heroes of the past who once again are at it despite the fact they each have a few years under their belts. The actors include, in addition to Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis (who plays a pivotal role) and Mickey Rourke. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, the current Governor of California, has a cameo in a humorous scene which takes place in a church. Let’s just say it is not a religious scene but Stallone and Arnold get to exchange a few barbs, as they portray former old enemies. Stallone delivers a funny line, “Looks like you’ve put on ten pounds or so”.
The film is loaded with action and a few close calls. A scene in which Stallone’s character Ross attempts to climb into a plane as it is lifting off and shots are flying all around him is a pretty well done piece. Unfortunately, even though some of the blood in the movie looks like CGI and probably is, the film is peppered with violence and much of it strong in nature. Three men near the beginning of the story are shot in the head, and a woman is tortured. The flesh is seen flying off a body in this film. The language is strong throughout. Put this film on your “expendable” list and see something a bit more family-friendly such as “Step Up” or “Despicable Me”.