Good old John McClane (Bruce Willis) is right back in the middle of all
bad things. This time, he’s traipsing off to Russia to bring his
supposedly wayward son Jack (Jai Courtney) back home, but it turns out
that Jack’s the apple that hasn’t fallen far from the family tree.
The mob of the future maintains its iron grip on society by utilizing the
ultimate existential weapon — time travel. When they want to get rid of
someone, that person gets sent back in time where a waiting killer
executes them, closing the loop on that person, permanently.
Round two of the 1980s action hero retirement road show features full-on
supporting roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, but
Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham are still the least expendable
players in the game.
Lean, mean, funny and chockablock with fast-twitch demolition spectacle, 'The Expendables' represents a grand finale for several generations of action cinema stars (Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.). Although there are obvious political influences at play, the film walks a fine generic line of idealism that errs on the side of graphic novel cartoonishness without succumbing entirely to style. Grade: B.
Jonathan Mostow stumbles from 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines' to this 'I, Robot' clone based on a graphic novel that displays none of the visual style one normally associates with these more literate comic book frames. Bruce Willis allows himself to be used as a tool here, a familiar instrument with wit and a hardened form we've come to expect to be capable of handling its share of wear and tear. Grade: D-.