I recently saw the ensemble action film, The Expendables, and I very much enjoyed the film. I suppose, however, going in with the knowledge that it was brimming with an all-star cast of badass action heroes and veterans, I was expecting something a little more magical to occur throughout the film. I think unicorns and rainbows may be reaching, but hopefully you see what I mean. The acting was, at times, only par for the course, in my opinion, and I imagine much improvisation and "man-time" occurred both on and off the camera. At times, in scenes, it felt as if the male actors were "hanging out" and a camera just happened to be filming. As director, Stallone's style seemed very reminiscent of his Rambo days as he made sure to deliver on the violence. Tasteful, considering they were mercenaries with an array of weapons, assault rifles and knives; but I'll be darned if heads weren't coming clean off after the swipe of a machete. Some bullets even left cantaloupe sized holes in enemies, and blood sprayed like a Nickelodeon slime contest.
English actor, Jason Statham plays a former soldier and blades specialist who wields knives with such beauty and precision, it's quite the sight to see. I've seen Statham portray the tough, martial arts expert in several action movies, and while he remained a tough guy in The Expendables, this was, literally, the first time I've seen him smile; and what a dazzling smile at that. The man has teeth. Who knew?
The best scene within the film, in my opinion, is not an action scene at all. Mickey Rourke plays the mission coordinator and former teammate, and delivers a monologue where he confesses about the effect and toll their violent lifestyle, and his personal actions, have had on his psyche. The monologue is very compelling and is delivered with heartfelt passion and emotion.
I didn't want to end this review without including a great article I found that breaks down the 'body count' from the filmography of each of the action stars in the film. I love it. Have you seen all of the movies listed? After seeing The Expendables, you may want to go back and watch them blaze a trail of badassness. 'Badassness'. Yes, you read that correctly. ;)