The Expendables seems like such a simple concept to get right; icons of 80s and 90s action movies, spearheaded by Sylvester Stallone, coming together to form a formidable team of mercenaries to take down the bad guys. For the most part, they've provided enough entertainment to keep ticking over however, Expend4bles stops that trend by being awful from start to finish.

The Expendables are assigned on a mission to stop a terrorist organization headed by Suarto Rahmat (Iko Uwais) from smuggling nuclear warheads that will ignite a conflict between Russia and the U.S.
It's upsetting just how awful Expend4bles actually is, even if the quality standard hasn't exactly had a high bar set by previous instalments. Switching your brain off to enjoy these films is a must but this would eventually make you slip it into a coma if it went on any longer. Assembling a team of action icons (a stretch in this case) isn't enough because some effort has to go into delivering some exciting action sequences and banter between the team, an aspect this film ultimately fails at rather embarrassingly.

The writing, particularly the dialogue, leaves a lot to be desired as characters interact amidst a narrative that is as predictable as it gets. With the way the story goes and others from previous films not returning, Expend4bles spends a lot of its runtime forcing us to watch a rag-tag crew that absolutely no one wants to see. It really does make the film a slog to sit through, action sequences filmed with awful use of green screen not helping matters either.
The performances, again something you don't expect too much from in these films, consist of the majority of the cast sleepwalking through proceedings. It's actually hilarious to watch Dolph Lundgren and 50 Cent try to express emotions during one particular sequence. Jason Statham understands the assignment entirely and is the only possible redeeming feature this film has to offer, a moment he has with a social media influencer being a rare highlight in an otherwise drab affair.

Expend4bles doesn't even end up being so bad it's good because it just isn't. I know films like this have their legions of fans but even they must think they deserve better than this.



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