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What a piece of garbage (and I mean that in the worst possible way). This throwback to 80's action films is so poorly conceived, written, and directed that I'm pissed I even thought it might be entertaining. The Expendables is a real disappointment.
Go ahead, ask me what it's about. I have no fuckin clue. Not because it's confusing or even mildly complicated, but because they never say what it's about. THERE IS NO PLOT. Rambo, Cobra, Commando... simple as they were, they all had a story. This movie was literally about a bunch of guys who get hired to kill a lot of people. No indication of who they work for, why they do what they do, who pays them... why the people who hire them want them to do what they hire them to do or what the end result of the job is and what kind of political ramifications it'll have.
Every scene with Randy Couture and Terry Crews should have been deleted. Not one thing that they say or do advances the nonexistent plot.
The scene that's supposed to set up some kind of story, the one in the church with Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger, was so poorly written and acted that it was unintentionally hysterically funny and I was uncontrollably laughing out-loud. They were trying to have this Heat moment (Pacino and DeNiro on screen together for the first time) and instead, they filled it with terrible dialogue that specifically designed to take shots at either the actors in real life or the characters they played in other movies, and the dialogue was separated by extraordinarily uncomfortable pauses.
I took a quick nap whenever Mickey Rourke showed up because, between his 10 minute crybaby monologues about the girl who got away and Jason Statham's moping about his girlfriend cheating on him, I thought I was watching the fuckin Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
Dolph Lundgren isn't a good enough actor to pull off a flip-flop-flip-flop-flip of that magnitude convincingly, not that the writers actually gave him any motivation to jump back and forth between good and bad... he just did. And finally, Jet Li was probably supposed to have a storyline and Stallone just got tired of writing. Li kept talking about how he needs more money, lies about why, admits to lying about why but insists that he needs more money and... that's it... they never revisit it.
If they had made this an origin story instead of throwing us right into the middle of their careers, this could have been the start of a fun franchise. The Expendables is full of cursing, tattoos, motorcycles, gunfire and explosions, but it's completely devoid of talent. You decide how you want to spend your money.