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The Expendables

Heroes today. Legends forever. 

Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Sylvester Stallone 
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li  
An image from The Expendables

The age of the action hero has now passed, with more intelligent characters such as Jason Bourne coming into the fray. Stallone gave a last hurrah to his best-known creation, Rocky Balboa, a couple of years ago. Now he sends off the Eighties action star in a similarly affectionate style. Fans of ‘true classics’ such as Commando, Cobra, and Die Hard will revel in this personal project. Say what you want about Stallone as an actor, a writer, and a director, but he is making this film for an audience that does not want social or political undertones, but one that wants to see Dolph Lundgren pick up a guy and throw him over to Jet Li, who round-house kicks him over to Stallone, who tears his neck off mid-flight. Expect one-liners aplenty after each star has his turn. The film concerns a group of mercenaries (the Expendables of the title) who are trying to kill an evil South American dictator. They are prevented from doing so by the dastardly Eric Roberts (‘snarl’) and decide to go on a rampage to kill every corrupt intelligence agent and drug-dealer in sight. Expect no mercy.

Stallone plays Expendables leader (figuratively as well, for he directed, produced and wrote the film) Barney “The Schizo” Ross. Jason Statham plays a character called Lee Christmas. This is not Shakespeare.

It will be hard to find a more explosive, unbelievable film at the cinema this year, or, probably, for the next decade. Bare in mind that this was created with a loyal audience in find; this is particularly a film for viewers who will delight in the name-checking, camera-winking and film-referencing that accompanies each gun-toting, exploding action scenario. Miss it at your own expense.

Jack Porter

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Screenings of this film:

2010/2011 Autumn Term (35mm)
2010/2011 Autumn Term (35mm)