Movie Review: The Expendables

Posted: February 1, 2012 in Movies
Tags: , , , ,

Bottom Line:

Don’t watch it.

The Details:

[Minor spoilers.]

I have to jump back about a week and bring your attention to a great post that Fabio Bueno wrote titled The Opposite of a Chick Flick. I couldn’t get this post out of my head as I watched this movie.

^ Female

A single, all-important fact you should know about me: I’m female.

But don’t think I’m skewed. Okay, I might be a little, but much less than most women I know. I’ll take an action movie over a romantic comedy any day. I prefer the blood, guts, and explosions of 300, Die Hard, and Con-Air. I’m a superhero movie addict. Some of my favorite movies of all time were named in Fabio’s post as being “macho movies.”

But The Expendables? Even I have to draw the line.

Okay, so I did enjoy the fighting sequences. And the explosions. And even some of the humor.

But other than that…it was pretty bad. I mean, what was the movie even about? I had a hard time following the plot – that American guy who was behind everything…what was he even doing? Was he trying to grow and export drugs? I’m still not sure.

The movie falls into some clichés. Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone’s character) just doesn’t understand why Lee Christmas (the wonderfully English Jason Statham) loves Lacy so much (can anyone say…CORDELIA!). BUT, as soon as he sees the beautiful Sandra (Giselle Itié) he risks life, limb, and maybe even country to protect her.


I was happy as anyone to see Mickey Rourke in this movie, but what was his purpose? I felt like all he did was wear his shirt open and go around tattooing people. Weird.

The other characters were pretty much background noise (except for one, but I’ll get there in a minute). I didn’t care about them at all. Like I said before, the plot was confusing and I had trouble following it. Although some of the dialog was funny, I found a lot of it fell flat. Oh, and can someone PLEASE tell me what the point of having Arnold Schwarzenegger in a movie if all he is going to do is banter pointlessly with Stallone for thirty seconds?

So, what DID I like? I liked Jet Li’s character. The poor guy got picked on the entire time. Most of it wasn’t even funny. He could so kick all of their butt’s. In the movie or in real life. I also liked how, at the end, he got a little bit of redemption. Way to go.

I have a feeling I know what Fabio is going to say – it’s a Macho Movie! You’re not supposed to analyze it. You just turn off your brain and clap when things blow up.

I tried, Fabio, I really, really tried.

In the end, that tiny part of me that wants some semblance of plot won out. The writer in me cringed. The woman inside rolled her eyes.

But I’ll leave you with this:

How AWESOME was it when they SHOT that guy IN HALF?

  1. ddog13 says:

    A substance-less action flick is all it is. The explosions, blood, and guts was the only satisifying thing. lol. But, I have to contradict what you said about Arnold’s appearance. He appeared not only to lure people in with his cameo, but to foreshadow a bit. In the Expendables 2, Arnold will be playing a bigger role, as well as Bruce Willis. Sylvester Stallone is known for having a history against Arnold.This was to add to the hype of the movie, and he simply made a cameo…and it was pretty awesome seeing the guy get shot in half. Well written review. Check out some of my reviews on

    • Karen Rought says:

      Well, I’m glad you agreed with me about it being substance-less! And I actually didn’t know that about Arnold’s appearance. I haven’t heard much about who will be in the second movie or what it’ll be about. More Arnold and more Bruce (plus Jean Claude Van Damme, according to Fabio) definitely peaks my interest. I’m curious about this whole Arnold and Sylvester “history.” I’ll have to look more into that. I’ll check out some of your reviews, too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Fabio Bueno says:

    Well, as you pointed out, I never implied it was good 🙂
    Your review is spot-on. They could have written a better story. Let me rephrase that: they could’ve written _a_ story. I agree that other brainless movies at least make an effort.
    It’s just the excitement of seeing all those 80’s movie stars together makes me blind to everything else… I see it as a homage to those movies–lack of plot and characterization included!
    Thank for the shout-out! Just for the record, there are some award-winning pics in the Macho Movie list as well 🙂

    • Karen Rought says:

      Haha! I tried so hard to love this movie, especially because of all the big-name actors in it. But I just couldn’t. Here’s to hoping the second one is better? And, yes, you had some awesome picks in your list (this is where I’m hoping everyone blog jumps to your post!). There were a bunch on there that are all time favorites of mine!

      • Debra Kristi says:

        Look at you, putting your name out there.  From what I heard, Stallone tried to get Van Damme and Norris in the first movie and they weren’t interested. I guess all the hype and success, despite the lack of storyline changed their minds for the second one. All the broken bones incurred during filming were not a deterrent. LOL

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