An old-school R-rated action movie starring a bunch of over-the-hill action stars should’ve been, like, the best movie ever made, but unfortunately Sylvester Stallone‘s The Expendables leaves much to be desired. Sure, he’s got a cast to die for: Jason Statham (playing the young ‘un, relatively), Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Steve Austin, Bruce Willis and even Arnold Schwarzenegger (granted, the latter two for only about five very confusing minutes), but the script — and oddly lackluster direction on Stallone’s part — manages to water down most of the old-timer testosterone. The nonsensical plot has something to do with a bunch of mercenaries assigned to take out a military leader and rogue CIA agent on a Latin American island, but anything resembling a coherent (and compelling) narrative is soon drowned out by a lot of grunting, punching, shooting, stabbing and exploding — and not necessarily in a good way. Some dudes buy Ferraris in the wake of a mid-life crisis; Sly goes for rather astonishing ultraviolence, in this and in Rambo, as if he’s trying to show all of the young whippersnapper action directors out there that the old man’s still got it. Though be probably got the car(s), too.
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