HD Radio
Listen Online
What's Playing
Program Schedule
Support WGUC
Sponsorships & Advertising
Community Calendar
Cincinnati Spotlight

E-News
WGUC Reviews
WGUC Events
Contests
Hosts
Links
90.9 Store

Classics for Kids
90-Second Naturalist
Corbett Studio
91.7 WVXU
About Us
Contact Us



WGUC Reviews

The Expendables

The Expendables
Millennium Films
Rated R
Now Showing at: most major theaters.
Review by: Larry Thomas


The daylight hours are growing shorter, most of the kids are back in school, there’s only one more holiday left…so it sounds as if summer’s over. Eh, not quite. Not as long as there still one more testosterone-fueled, bullet-splattered, knuckle-bruising over-the-top action flick left to see. And The Expendables is a doozy, with enough action, fights, chases, shoot-outs, and explosions to keep a dozen movies going.

The cinematic juggernaut behind this loud and proud pastiche is none other than Sylvester Stallone. Just when everyone thought his career was in the tank, he bounced back with a sixth Rocky and a fourth Rambo film that re-ignited his activity… and bankability at the box office. Once again, Sly is the guy in charge, as he co-wrote, directed, and stars in The Expendables. To make sure he had enough star power to appeal to the target audience, Stallone shares screen time with Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, and a fistful of TV wrestlers, plus cameo appearances by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But so you’re not disappointed, I should tell you that for the amount of screen time Willis and Schwarzenegger have, it takes you longer to put your socks on in the morning. Still, it does add to the mystique of what some might call a reunion of the over-the-hill gang.

The threadbare plot concerns mercenaries-for-hire being sent to an island in the Caribbean to wipe out the dictatorial regime that is pulling in a fortune in drugs. Its yet another variation on The Dirty Dozen theme that you’ve seen before. But that doesn’t matter, as Stallone knows his core audience. Guys around the world have either endured or avoided Sex And The City 2 and Eat Pray Love to get to The Expendables.

The performances, not counting the wrestlers, are just fine. Not surprisingly, the best performance in the bunch is from Mickey Rourke. “The Comeback Kid” plays a retired mercenary who is now a tattoo artist. In his one big scene, he actually makes you believe that he’s a guy who’s had a hard life, made bad choices, but has a heart, and wishes things had been different. The sleazy, greasy uber-villian is personified by Eric Roberts (yes, Julia’s brother), with ultra-tan, slicked-back hair, and a villainous demeanor that’s about three shades less subtle than Snidely Whiplash. But it’s fun to watch him having fun with it, despite the fact that he shares no screen time with Rourke, his cast mate from 1984’s The Pope Of Greenwich Village.

On the down side, there are too many subplots, which are probably necessary to give every cast member a chance to do something other than be scenery. Although there are a couple of good laughs, most of the dialogue is fairly stale. And most of the action is cartoonishly unbelievable, despite it’s fast-paced ferocity. There are no surprises, and everything proceeds to the obvious conclusion as expected. But that’s ok. Despite the flaws, The Expendables does manage to deliver the goods.

As I was waiting for the film to start, I wondered why Stallone didn’t really stack the deck and include Steven Seagal in the cast. Once the trailers started running, I knew why. Seagal is back in the new Robert Rodriguez bullet-blasting epic Machete, which opens in two weeks.

The R-rated The Expendables is now showing just about everywhere.


Events
Archive
Trips

Listen Online

Windows Media
RealPlayer


Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter or our daily playlist!


Streamers Society
WGUC 90.9 FM | 1223 Central Parkway | Cincinnati, OH 45214-2890 • (513) 241-8282
©2014 Cincinnati Public Radio, Inc. All rights reserved. | Contact Us
 
SUPPORT
Make your contribution online
Become a Sustaining Member
Update Your Information
Text 2 Give
Gifts of Stock
Donating Vehicles
Planned Giving
Joseph-Beth Gives Back Program
Protect My Public Media
ABOUT WGUC
FAQ
On-Air Hosts
Our Staff
Our Underwriters
E-News Publications
Award-Winning Productions
Mission Statement
Our Board of Directors
Our Community Board
Jobs at Cincinnati Public Radio
EEO Statement
Volunteers
eTech Ohio
Privacy Policy
Cincinnati Public Radio's Revenues and Expenditures
MUSIC
What's Playing
Listen Online
Mobile
Purchase CDs
 
BBB Accredited Charity