The Expendables (3 stars)

The Expendables

(15) 103min

The Expendables is as much an A to Z of every action movie cliché as it is a who’s who of the leading men who used to populate them.

Boasting a line-up of Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts and Steve Austin, as well as cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film is a flawed throwback to the testosterone-driven action vehicles of the mid 1980s to early 1990s.

Stallone, as co-writer and director, isn’t trying to re-define the genre so much as remind viewers of a less politically-correct time when men were men and women needed rescuing.

Hence, when an ageing group of mercenaries find their consciences pricked by the plight of a female resistance fighter, they decide to ‘sacrifice’ themselves to rescue her. Macho posturing, bone-crunching fights and big pyrotechnics ensue. It’s ironic that the best moments are the smaller ones – a three-way between Sly, Willis and Arnie, or Mickey Rourke looking rueful.

General release from Thurs 19 August.

The Expendables trailer

The Expendables

  • 3 stars
  • 2010
  • US
  • 1h 43min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
  • Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke
  • UK release: 19 August 2010

A flawed throwback to the testosterone-driven action vehicles of the mid 1980s and early 1990s, starring pretty much every action star you've ever heard of (including cameos from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis). A bunch of ageing mercenaries go up against a South American dictator to free a female resistance…

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