They might be expendable, but they sure are durable: The Expendables is crammed with well-traveled action heroes, called to a summit meeting here to capture some of that good old ultraviolent '80s-movie feel.
Star-director Sylvester Stallone rides herd as the leader of this mercenary band, which includes Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Stallone's old Rocky V nemesis Dolph Lundgren. Mickey Rourke, looking like a car wreck on Highway 61, plays the tattoo artist who communicates the gang's assignments to Stallone; throw in Terry Crews and Ultimate Fighting champ Randy Couture, and you've got a badass crew indeed.
The specifics here involve a Latin American island where US interests have mucked up the local politics beyond repair--but when Sly's eye is caught by the feisty daughter (Giselle Itie) of the local military jefe, a simple job gets complicated. Adding to the B-movie flavor of the enterprise, we've got Eric Roberts and Steve Austin bouncing around as badder-than-the-bad guys, plus Bruce Willis popping in for a one-scene bit, and… well, perhaps another unbilled cameo.
The violence doesn't reach the frantic pace of Stallone's last Rambo picture, but it builds to a pretty crazy crescendo in the final reels, during which each cast member gets to show his stuff.
Expendables is likely critic-proof: the audience that wants to see this kind of body-slamming throw-down isn't going to care about the niceties. Let the knife throwing begin.