The Expendables (2010)
Director: Sylvester Stallane Starring: Sylvester Stallane, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Giselle Itie, David Zayas, Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Certificate: 15 Running Time: 99 Minutes
Tagline: "Choose your weapons"
Sly has always been underrated as a director and screenwriter in my opinion. After a storming start to his career, he was one of the biggest stars in the world for well over a decade until he suffered a sizeable lull in his career, ironically occurring post-Cop Land, among his best films and most critically-acclaimed performances. A surprising number of his films saw him work as more than just an actor too. In more recent years, he's returned to prominence with new, 'final' instalments in the franchises that helped make his name, and it was largely thanks to these that he was able to convince the powers that be to give this film the green light. Despite his attempts to branch out into other genres over the years though, it remains those blockbuster action films of the 80's and early 90's that he's most famous for, and his latest project was an elaborate and extremely ambitious homage to those that he and all the other muscular brutes of that era starred in.
Working as director, co-writer, and star, Sly must've called in every favour he could to assemble this impressive cast, and impressive it is too! He heads the list of course, as well as the team of mercenaries that gives the film its title, and we first meet them in Somalia as they attempt to liberate some hostages from their pirate captors. Headed by leader, Barney Ross (Sly), the team consists of the usual assortment of specialists, complete with comedy names too - Lee Christmas (Statham) is handy with the blades, Yin Yang (Li) is the hand-to-hand combat specialist, Gunnar Jensen (Lundgren) is a sniper, Hale Caesar (Crews) is the weapons expert, and lastly, Toll Road (ex-UFC champion, Couture) is the demolition / explosives guy.
After a disagreement resulting in the expulsion of Gummar, the team returns to New Orleans where they're based. Almost immediately their mission coordinator and former team-mate, Tool (Rourke) tells them about a new, very dangerous but potentially lucrative mission. Ross goes to meet Mr Church (Willis) who's offering the mission to either him or rival, Trent Mauser (Arnie). After learning it involves overthrowing maniacal dictator, General Garza (Zayas), who's occupying an island off South America, Trent declines, so Ross, along with Christmas and Yang, head to the island, called Vilena, to scope it out and meet their contact, Sandra (Itie). It soon becomes apparent that Garza has some help in the shape of ex-CIA agent, James Munroe (Roberts), and hired muscle, Paine ('Stone Cold' Steve Austin). Barely escaping, the team soon returns to finish the job...
RKS Score: 7/10