The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

“The Expendables”: Explosions, Muscles, and Fictional Latino Dictators

2 min read

If you have any qualms about seeing “The Expendables,” know this: it’s exactly what the previews told you it was, a big action movie with a lot of burly men blowing up the army of a fake Latin country. Decide whether that’s enough for you.

For those still reading, the plot here is basically just an excuse to blow things up. Mr. Church, played by Bruce Willis, hires a group of mercenaries, featuring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li, to kill the dictator of Vilena, a fictional island country somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

Further complications revolve around a girl on the island that Stallone’s character develops a soft spot for, but even this is still just thin justification to blow more stuff up.

For some, maybe not enough stuff gets blown up. All in all, there are only four action scenes in the film: one at the start, two in the middle, and one for the big finish. It might not be enough for some that the whole movie isn’t one long, 103-minute action sequence, but the dramatic scenes in the middle actually help develop a few of the characters a bit.

An attempt to develop Li’s character through his Napoleon complex is cute, but we never actually learn anything about him beyond the fact that he really doesn’t like to be beaten by dudes bigger than him.

Speaking of big dudes, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin does a good job standing there menacingly and throwing people around, but the real standout in the action scenes is Statham, who can throw a knife like nobody’s business. Well, I guess it might be the business of the poor Latino guy on the other end of that knife.

If you’re expecting “There Will Be Blood,” then this movie isn’t for you. However, if you actually like to have stupid fun once in awhile, this is a movie to go see.