“The Expendables”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It’s the Ocean’s Eleven of action movies! But sadly the comparison ends there. If only the movie could be nearly as good as its marketing hype. Although, I do like the fact that Sylvester Stallone is trying to bring back the old school action movie format. The Expendables definitely has the old school feel, but unfortunately it also feels like they might be pulling there punches when it comes to the violence. Sure the action sequences are incredible, but there’s also this grittiness that seems to be missing that I fondly remember from the old Commando days. That’s not to say you don’t get graphic violence in The Expendables; there are plenty of bloody head-shots to be had, but in this day and age you need to step it up if you want to stand out.

The Expendables is about a group of mercenaries that are hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator. Of course things are not what they seem, and Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his band of brothers find themselves in way over their heads. I also want to make it perfectly clear that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis are in this movie for a whole five minutes. This is not the ultimate team-up the trailers would have you believe, and half that scene has already been shown in the trailers and TV ads. Those of you overly hyped to go see this movie are going to see it not matter what I say. But, that’s fine because that’s the whole point of the movie. If I was still a 12 year old boy that had to sneak into rated R movies, I would probably love it too. Hold on! Before you even start writing your hate comments, because I just insulted you by calling you an immature 12 year old, let me explain. I think the reason, for me anyway, that the old school action movies were so badass, was because you weren’t supposed to be watching it in the first place. When we were kids we didn’t have the internet. We had to sneak off to the video store and rent a bunch of Disney videos, while cleverly slipping a copy of Raw Deal into the middle of the pile, and just hope that no one at the counter notices it during checkout. Kids today… Holy shit! Did I really just say that! Fuck, I’m getting old. (sigh) Kids today have it way too easy. They can Netflix anything without even leaving their house. Hell, they can even stream it instantly. Where’s the adventure in that? I had to sneak out of the house, ride my bike 5 miles, and hope that the clerk at the video store didn’t deny me the rental. We’re talking at least two weeks of plotting and planning here. Okay, I’m getting a little off the point. The point is, even though those action movies of the ‘80s were incredibly awesome, there were other elements that added to our enjoyment of them at the time. The Expendables tries to bring back that old feeling, but it falls short. Not only because times are different, but also because the movie just isn’t that good. The story and characters leave a lot to be desired, but they’re watchable. But, let’s be honest. It’s the action that counts, and it’s also the one thing this movie has plenty of. But is it enough? I would have to say, no. It just doesn’t get to that point where I say, “Wow that was a great ride!” I know. I know. It doesn’t matter what I say, you’re still going to see it. Well, I hope you have fun.