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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Expendables


Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews and Mickey Rourke
Lions Gate Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 13 December 2010

Living life on the fringes of the law, The Expendables are a team of hardened mercenaries, led by Ex-US Special Forces agent Barney Ross. Consisting of former SAS blade expert Lee Christmas, hand-to-hand combat specialist Yin Yang, long barrel weapons specialist Hale Caesar, demolitions expert Toll Road, and precision sniper Gunner Jensen, the team take on what appears to be a routine assignment: a covert, CIA-funded operation to infiltrate the South American country of Vilena and overthrow its ruthless dictator. But when their job is revealed to be a suicide mission, the men are faced with a deadly choice - one that might redeem their souls... or destroy their brotherhood forever...

The Expendables sees Sylvester Stallone head up an impressive line up of action-stars, including Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and fellow Screen Legends: Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and Arnold Schwarzenegger - in this tale of a band of highly-skilled mercenaries who go all out to take out the merciless dictator of a small island.

While for a modern generation this is a good, meaty action flick, for those of my generation who grew up on Stallone and Schwarzenegger's action movies, this has added appeal in the fact that Stallone (who also directs) has a little fun with the genre. The man has been in enough action movies to know what works and what doesn't and he really does go out of his way to bring something new to the table. The humour is right on the nail too. There were several times during this movie that I couldn't help laughing out loud (something I rarely do with films these days).

Extras include an audio commentary with Stallone; "Before the Battle" - THe Making of The Expendables (15 min, 38 sec behind the scenes footage with ongoing audio input from Stallone); Deleted Scene (44 sec); Gag Reel (5 min, 03 sec - it was interesting to learn that Jet Li's "I Would Have Win" line originally appeared to have been done accidentally and then was worked in as a running gag); and Promo Gallery (which includes the Theatrical Trailer, TV Spot and a Poster Gallery).

The audio commentary, while not that great, does contain quite a bit of useful information. Highlights include the fact that they only had Mickey Rourke for 48 hours (which is impressive when you consider how good his scenes are); the fact that Willis and Schwarzenegger did their scene for free as old friends, and that Stallone originally wasn't sure about Willis's "dick sucking" ad lib - thankfully he kept it in as it's one of the film's funniest lines; and the catalogue of injuries that seemed to rack up during the filming.

Yes it's OTT in every respect, but if you suspend disbelief (as you have to with almost every action adventure movie) you'll find that it's fun, it's action-packed, and certainly worth adding to your DVD collection.


Darren Rea

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