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Wednesday, 15 August 2012


We are the shadows and the smoke, we rise. We are the ghosts that hide in the night.

I liked the sound of this movie - not enough to visit the cinema but I did intend to catch it on DVD - though it was never at the top of my TOO VIEW list, and the wealth of bad reviews only pushed it further down the list. In fact if it wasn't for the fact that I picked up the Blu-ray at budget price I probably would never have gotten around to giving the movie a try.

I liked the idea of all these action icons together on screen, and I quite like Stallone and enjoyed the Rocky and Rambo movies as much as anyone else. Bruce Willis also did a great job in Die Hard and Schwarzenegger was great in both Terminator and Conan,not much else though but those two movies vindicate him. I've never seen a Jason Statham or Jet Li movie and the only time I watched Lundgren was in his stab at playing the Punisher- yeah I wish I hadn't bothered. Well that and when he'd been the Ruskie in one of the bad Rocky movies.

As you'd expect the movie is big,loud and stupid but it's also a lot of fun even if it is slightly misleading in its concept - Shwarzenegger's role is nothing more than a cameo and Bruce Willis' part is on the small side - I believe both actors take bigger roles in this year's Expendables 2, but I'll likely wait for the budget DVD to talk about that one.

Of course it's a throwback to all those 80's action movies and it ticks all the right boxes, car chases, explosions, mono dimensional bad guys and larger than life action. It does it all with humour and style though and it's hard not to enjoy the ride even if it goes way over the top.

The quiet scene towards the beginning of the movie with Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis on screen together plays like Last of the Summer Wine on steroids. Schwarzengger especially looks frail. Still it's a lovely scene and seeing the three legends sharing a screen in worth the admission price alone.

On the action front - Statham and Jet Li get several excellent sequences but it is Stallone who gets to do most of the cool stuff and he Rambos it up big style. The climax is brilliantly staged and the movie delivers what we expect from it.

Not brilliant but far from expendable.

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