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The Expendables

Year: 2010
Production Co: Millennium Films
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Writer: Sylvester Stallone/David Callaham
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Giselle Itié, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis

It used to be so simple in the 80s – take a tough guy, give him superhuman powers of strategy and strength and let him loose on any number of mobsters/criminals/aliens/Arabs/terrorists/Soviets/etc.

If there's one actor who knows his stuff from that genre, it's Stallone, and when audiences finally started paying attention to him again after Rocky Balboa and Rambo, he knew he was onto a good thing. A little heart and soul might ground your movie (like it does here when Mickey Rourke delivers a monologue about the horrors of war), but really, war isn't horror in the world of The Expendables. It's a neverending rock video that'll have you cheering into your popcorn and just wishing Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger would show up (which Stallone's happy to oblige).

He plays Barney Ross, a mercenary who leads a team of similarly indestructible freelance warriors when the CIA offers them a job. Remove the dictatorial government of a small South American island nation, and the payday will be considerable.

What? You want more plot? Go see Inception. All that's left for Barney and the guys to do is get down there in their seaplane and hack, slash, detonate, shot and punch their way through a wall of minions with balletic grace and a soundtrack that makes each knife impact as solid as a mortar blast.

The only disappointing aspect is that most of the familiar faces like Stallone, Lundgren and Statham have personality, and the script and dialogue not only fail to give them full flight, they should share more chemistry in the low points between destruction and mayhem. But for a trip back to the heyday of the genre, it's a bone crunching delight.

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