Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Expendables

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong action and bloody violence throughout and for some language
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Some sexual references and crude humor
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking and smoking, characters are drug dealers, character abuses drugs
Violence/Scariness:Constant peril and violence, shooting, fighting, explosions, torture, some graphic images, torture, many characters injured and killed, description of a suicide
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2010

Five minutes into this movie, which means five minutes into its first action sequence, one of its stars explains to his colleagues he is about to fire off a warning shot. He then blows a guy’s torso into what another character will later refer to as “red sauce and jello.” And then we have a lot of shooting and a lot of stuff blowing up and hand-to-hand combat, and thousand yard stares and boy, do we have a lot of red sauce and jello.

“The Expendables,” is a mash-up of action stars and action movies. It would take less time to explain who is not in this movie (Stephen Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme, who both declined) than who is: Sylvester Stallone (who co-wrote and directed), his “Rocky IV” nemesis, Dolph Lundgren, WWE superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ultimate Fighting Champion Randy Couture, martial arts master Jet Li, former NFL player Terry Crews, “Iron Man 2’s” Mickey Rourke, and “Transporter’s” Jason Statham — plus brief appearances by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here is the plot: there are some bad guys. The good guys go after them. It doesn’t go so well at first. Bros before hos. Chases and explosions. Very big guns (the muscle kind and the weapon kind) and very big knives. Airplanes, trucks, motorcycles, and various other symbols of manliness. And a lot of red sauce and jello. It’s Tarantino without the irony.

The chases and explosions and shoot-outs are well-filmed, as are the big fight scenes, especially a brutal battle in a tunnel and the opening sequence where Somali pirates suddenly find the thin red beams of automatic weapons touching many parts of their bodies. But the most satisfying moments come from seeing these guys do what they do best, one on one. Couture takes on Austin. The very compact Li takes on the giant Lundgren. “Bring it, Happy Feet,” the big man tells Li. Statham takes on a bully. And then his pals.

Stallone as co-writer, director, and star manages to keep the tone light and affectionate for the genre and its fans without getting meta or condescending. These action heroes take their fun seriously without taking themselves seriously. They have time for some commiseration about the faithlessness of females and some manly banter as they load their weapons. One explains how he got his cauliflower ear and another tells the story of when he lost his capacity to care about anything or anyone. But mostly it’s just red sauce and jello, macho bonding, and silly character names: Hale Ceasar, Toll Road, Lee Christmas.

Following the Somali pirate hostage rescue, our heroes are up for three jobs. “Two are a walk in the park and one is to Hell and Back.” Guess which one they take? Option 3 is a country called Vilena, with an evil Gringo and a puppet general who has a mercenary army. There’s also a brave and beautiful young woman. Various characters are chased, captured, and rescued and a lot of stuff gets blown up. Which, after all, is what we came for.



  • http://www.piratestatesomalia.com Peter

    For an indepth look at the Somali pirates, see the forthcoming book, Pirate State: Inside Somalia’s Terrorism at Sea, available at Amazon.

  • Tom

    I dont get why this is High School.. its really quite bloody

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Quite right, Tom. It was supposed to be “mature high schoolers.” I’ve made the correction. Many thanks!

  • Tom

    Oh, okay thanks! I was about to bring my little cousin, but then I realized it was a Sylvester Stallone movie

  • kc

    Check out this awesome Top 10 Expendables list in light of their explosion at the box office this past weekend. http://bit.ly/dB3pDC

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Great post, kc, thanks!

Previous Posts

Claire LaZebnik's Thoughts on Thanks
I can't think of a better way to start Thanksgiving weekend than taking a few minutes to read my friend Claire LaZebnik's wise and inspiring essay on gratitude. This most American of holidays is often accompanied by stress -- from hosting and being hosted, from traveling, from family. Claire write

posted 9:39:41am Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Horrible Bosses 2
Maybe it's just the proximity to the horrible "Dumb and Dumber To," but the cheerily offensive "Horrible Bosses 2" made me laugh. Full warning -- it begins with an elaborate sight gag as our hapless he

posted 5:58:28pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Penguins of Madagascar
The most adorable characters from the first three animated "Madagascar" movies were the penguins, the seldom right but never in doubt leader Skipper (Tom McGrath), the often right but never listened to Kowalski (Chris Miller), the literally explosive Rico (Conrad Vernon), and the ever-loyal Private

posted 5:17:32pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Coming Soon: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, the Miniseries
Susanna Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is one of those delicious stories that transports the reader to another world, so enthralling that it is difficult to leave. The setting is historical, England in 1806, as the Napoleonic Wars are being fought on land and at sea. Most peopl

posted 3:58:53pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Jurassic World with Christ Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RFinNxS5KN4?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 3:53:04pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.