The Expendables is your typical action flick. If you are looking for extensive character development or an intriguing story, look somewhere else. While the film doesn’t offer either of these things, what it does bring to the table is an enjoyable movie experience. The Expendables brings action at a breakneck pace, with more explosions, fist-fights and gun battles than one would think could fit into a two hour film. The film does suffer from typical action movie traits such as the storm trooper syndrome (bad guys with notoriously bad aiming, compared to the good guys who can snipe a bumblebee from a mile away), but the action is at such a fast pace that it is rarely noticed. While the majority of the acting isn’t particularly strong, the performance of Mickey Rourke draws attention. It was quite refreshing to see an actor actually act at a high level in a film such as this, where actors don’t need to be have particularly strong performances in order for the audience to become invested.
However the film does have some major drawbacks; while most action flicks don’t focus on much character development anyways, The Expendables brings even less than the typical. Outside of Stallone and Statham’s characters, we know almost nothing about the mercenary team. While in no way do I expect the film to focus on developing an extensive story for any of the other characters, it could have shed a little more light on the other members of the team, because from what little we saw of them, they seemed to be intriguing characters. In addition, the members of the team really don’t experience much hardship. They are essentially amazing at their job, which is unfortunate because the audience loses a sense of comradery with them. In order to feel a connection, we need to believe that the protagonists need to be cheered on in some way; when they have no significant obstacles or major events to impede them, they seem almost not dependent on our support. An event such as a member of the team being killed could have acted as a rallying cry for the audience. Instead, the film seems to be lacking that one event to inspire the team.
Oh, and the dialogue…..is just bad. Very few characters are given speeches of any worth, and a grand majority of the film is spent reciting cheesy lines that make the viewer cringe. Again, these are complaints that are normally expected when dealing with this genre of film; but having the ability to recognize these flaws and improve on them could greatly affect the film experience.
The film, while possessing a few flaws, is still an enjoyable experience for any fan of the action film genre.