‘The Expendables’ brings out the big guns

With a cast chock-full of action movie icons, there has been some debate as to who the star of ‘The Expendables’ truly is.

Is it Sly, with his artificial 60-year-old body, and even more artificial face?

Is it Jason Statham, anointed in an ass kicking changing-of-the-guard?

Is it Jet Li, the no longer quite so svelte martial arts hero?

Or is it any one of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews or Stone Cold Steve Austin?

The answer to these questions? A resounding no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no and no.

Meet the real star of ‘The Expendables’:

The AA-12 Shotgun

As wielded by Terry Crews’ character Hale Caesar, the AA-12 elicits a far bigger response than Stallone, Arnie or Bruce could ever hope to receive at this stage of their respective careers. Proving the old action flick adage that absolutely anything can be combustible and/or flammable, it’s good old-fashioned Gun-Porn at its absolute finest.

As for the rest of the flick?

Surprisingly underwhelming. Stallone does his best to pack the script with 80’s action cliches… there’s homo-erotic bromance, terrible dialogue, there’s an evil South American General, a sexy female resistance leader, there’s the least effectual militia in film history, there’s mention of cocaine smuggling, and of course there are explosions aplenty. All it lacks is a few gratuitous boobies and ‘The Expendables’ would have, in theory, ticked all the necessary boxes.

And yet as a popcorn, OTT, ultra-violent superman movie experience, it’s lacking something.

What that something is is incredibly hard to put your finger on. I can’t speak for everybody, but I don’t go into ‘The Expendables’ with massive expectations for story, plot, character development, logic or any kind of thematic resonance.

At all.

What I do want is fun.

Mindless, brain-at-the-door, ain’t this cool fun.

And for all it’s explosions, and knife fights, and heavily tattooed superheroes, much like ‘Predators’ a few months back, ‘The Expendables’ is never truly as fun as you hoped it was going to be.

Which is a damn shame. And something I hope Stallone addresses in his inevitable sequel in 18 months time.

But until then, take a good look people:

Because I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the AA-12 becomes the ‘Matrix Bullet-Time’ of the 2000-teens.




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