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Expend4bles – or The consumables 4, for people who know what an “a” looks like – is an action sequel marketed as an apology. One of the earliest trailers began with the declaration, “We heard you loud and clear,” and then highlighted tweets from franchise fans complaining about the PG-13 rating for Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Co.’s previous murder spree in the year were angry in 2014 The consumables 3. And sure, Expend4bles is violent. But it’s hard to imagine any of these disgruntled customers satiating their hunger for guts and blood with a lot of copy-pasted CGI blood splatter.
What they’ve been offered is essentially the Hollywood equivalent of a disinterested babysitter leaving his little charge alone with an empty iPad, a can of Play-Doh and a small bottle of Pepsi. Expend4bles has a vague idea of what you like, but no commitment to making sure you have fun. You can find out for yourself.
Schwarzenegger has long since left the franchise and is probably happy at home with his donkey and miniature horse. Bruce Willis is, of course, retired; But there’s also no sign of previous Expendables like Jet Li, Harrison Ford or Chuck Norris. Stallone is back on screen, but his behind-the-scenes creative responsibilities are gone (he directed the first film and was responsible for the screenplay of all three previous films). Instead, he seems to be marinating in some post.Believe phase of his career, content to watch, eyes twinkling and wistful, as he pats the next generation on the back.
In summary, Expend4bles it’s missing the crossover of veteran action stars that was supposedly the whole point of these things. And since the next generation is here through the process of elimination Jason Statham, Expend4bles was just rebooted as a Jason Statham film. His flat cap-loving knife expert, Lee Christmas, must join a few mercenaries in search of a mysterious buyer of nuclear missiles. Add in a Megalodon or a Dwayne Johnson and we might be onto something – Statham is a reliable star who always cracks enough jokes to save his own skin. But Expend4bles is a Statham film made with minimal enthusiasm.
This time his team consists of not one but two women (gasp!) – Christmas’s wife Gina (Megan Fox), a highly trained CIA agent version of the woman who smokes in your face outside a bar, and Lash (Levy Tran), whose Characterization, as far as I can tell, is “permanently horny”. Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren return, while Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson also joins for no specific reason. It looks like Antonio Banderas re-signed at some point only to change his mind, which would explain why Bad boys for lifeJacob Scipio was hired to play his character’s son and give an impeccable impression of the man.
And since fans complained that a martial arts superstar like Li was completely wasted in a non-martial arts role, Expend4bles threw in both Ong BakThis is Tony Jaa and The attackis Iko Uwais and has filled the film with hand-to-hand combat. However, the editing is so ruthless that we’re actively prevented from seeing half of the action: fights, explosions, stunts, and even every time Gina and Christmas kiss (does the movie think it’s going to catch cooties?). Presumably it’s to cover up the poor CGI work, which might as well have been assembled from clipart pieces. It’s a $100 million movie, with barely any of the $100 million actually shown on screen. Then it is indeed expensive.
Director: Scott Waugh. Cast: Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, Megan Fox, Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais. 15, 104 minutes.
“Expend4bles” will be in cinemas from September 22nd