The Expendables† DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.0
Video 7.0
Audio 7.0
Special Features 5.0
Audio 7.0
Distributor: Roadshow
Running Time: 100
Classification:
 MA15+
Reviewer: Simon Black

7.0


The Expendables
 

When Sylvester Stallone announced in 2009 he was assembling a cast which would reportedly see him starring alongside Arnold Swarzennegger, Bruce Willis, Steven Seagal, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme and other luminaries of the action genre, those of us who grew up in the 1980s let out a collective gasp of (m)anticipation.  For film fans weaned on the likes of Terminator 2, Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Die Hard and Under Siege the thought of Stallone, Swarzennegger and Willis sharing screen time was a dream come true, and a throwback to the all out ass-kickery of a bygone era could well revitalise an ailing genre responsible for such recent execrable fare as Cop Out and Faster.  

Despite some last minute cast changes (Seagal refused to work with one of the producers involved in the project, and Van Damme turned down a role he found one dimensional, ahem) the end result lives up to expectations, if only barely.  Stalloneís brainchild, if that isnít a contradiction in terms, revolves around a group of aging, wise-cracking mercenaries for whom no job is too dangerous, no terrorists too lethal and no paramilitary group not able to be turned swiftly into mincemeat, as a bunch of ruthless Somali pirates discover in the opening scene. 

This ragtag crew of elite freelance assassins is comprised of what are surely some of the most ludicrously named characters in cinematic history, but itís great to see so many big names on one ticket and watching The Expendables go about their bloody, noisy business is certainly plenty exciting.   

The crew includes Barney Ross (Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yim Yang (Jet Li), Gunner Jensen (Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (gigantic NFL star Terry Crews).  When a job on the corrupt Central American island of Vilena goes awry Ross realises, after a stirring speech from his buddy Tool (Mickey Rourke), that he canít just abandon the local populace to their fate.  He saddles up for a lethal solo mission, but his testosterone-fuelled buddies arenít having a bar of it.  They are The Expendables, after all.  They descend on Vilena  en masse, intending to oust ruthless ex-CIA agent James Munroe (Eric Roberts) and the corrupt General Garza the only way they know how Ė by blowing shit up. 

This is bombastic, brainless entertainment at its finest; it isnít Schindlerís List, but you know what youíre signing up for when you put a Stallone film in your DVD player.  Big on explosions, car chases, gunplay and glamorous babes, The Expendables is an affectionate, largely successful pastiche of everything that makes the action genre fun.  The blokey, intergenerational interplay between Statham and Stallone works well despite the latterís somewhat leaden script, and the novelty of so many action veterans jostling for screen time makes for a pretty damned entertaining 90 minutes. 

Yep, with nary a dull moment in sight this unashamed brawnfest proves something of a treat for fans of relentless 80s-style action blockbusters.  The body count is monumental, many of the kills are particularly gruesome, one-liners, such as they are, abound, as do a string of cameos Ė itís everything one could have hoped for, nothing more, nothing less.  And I mean that in a good way. 

Special Features

Interviews with each of the principal cast members and the filmís producers.  Stallone waxes lyrical, at one point mentioning the fact that the CIA has used cocaine money to fund military coups since Ďtime immemorium.í  As usual Lungdren proves the most likable and self-aware of the bunch Ė damn me that man is down to earth.  Thereís also a theatrical trailer. 

Audio & Video

The soundtrack itself borders on the generic Ė  no disrespect to Mountain, Thin Lizzy and John Fogerty, but they donít exactly get the kids hearts a-racing these days Ė but the 5.1 is suitably potent.  Also available are an English 2.0 and an English descriptive audio track.






 
 



   Games
   PlayStation 4
   XBox One
   PlayStation 3
   XBox 360
   PC
   PS Vita
   Wii U
   Wii
   3DS
   DS
   PSP
   Apple
   Casual
   Android
   Classics

  Movies
   Movies & IMAX
   Blu-ray
   Action
   Anime
   Comedy
   Crime & Thrillers
   Documentaries
   Drama
   Family
   Horror
   Kids
   Lifestyle
   Music
   Romance
   Sci-fi
   Sport

   IT
   PC
   Apple
   Hardware

   Information & Fun
   News
   Interviews
   Articles

   Tara's G-Spot
   Loren's Level
   Comics
   Books
   Mind & Body
   Music
   Competitions
   Community
 








 
 




Impulse Gamer is your source for the
latest Reviews and News on Video Games,
Entertainment, Pop Culture, Hardware &
More!

 


© 2001 - 2014 Impulse Gamer
 

 

About Us | Contact Us