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

Trailer: The Avengers: Age of Ultron
[iframe src="http://www.movieweb.com/v/VI0Fjch2c6ld24/embed_video" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0"] I'm very excited about the next Avengers movie, coming out next spring, and it's a great trailer with the bleak images, random ballerinas, and creepy re-do of the classic song from "Pinocc

posted 8:38:38am Oct. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Interviews: "Art and Craft's" Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman
The documentary "Art and Craft" is the extraordinary story of two men.  One is Mark Landis, an artist who created counterfeit paintings and then disguised himself as various philanthropist perso

posted 8:00:06am Oct. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Is This the End of Television?
Last week both cable giant HBO and broadcast giant CBS made announcements that signal the end of television as we know it.  Both responded to the clear message of the market and said that they would make their content available in the form and via the delivery system consumers prefer -- the interne

posted 3:24:08pm Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Dylan Baker on Directing for the First Time in the Fact-Based High School Football Movie "23 Blast"
Dylan Baker is probably best remembered for playing some of the most horrific villains imaginable ("The Good Wife," "Happiness").  But his extensive career has included wild comedies ("Planes, Trai

posted 8:00:11am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Best Movies About Writers
Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It's always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty and eloquent. Movies are written by writers, so they have some insight and appreciatio

posted 3:37:07pm Oct. 21, 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.