I am a big fan of action films of the 80´s. I remember one of the first times i saw The Terminator in the VHS stores shelves, and i would never forget that iconic cover. The 1984 film from director James Cameron became a huge VHS success, and i finally got to see the film through one of my friends parents, who rented the film. I was probably only 8 years old at the time i watched the film, and it was one of the coolest moments in my youth. Not far after i saw The Terminator on VHS, the family of my friend also rented Commando with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I realised at that moments that action films of the 80´s was my real holy moment. To see Schwarzenegger kicking ass and breaking bones, made my youth so much more fun. About a year after i saw Commando on VHS, a school friend of mine travelled to England with his family where he bought Cobra with Sylvester Stallone on VHS. I knew that the film was censored a lot on VHS in Sweden, so the UK release was much more uncut, and we watched the film together. Cobra showed why Stallone is such a great action actor, with fun dialogue and lots of violence. I remember borrowing that VHS tape many times, and i watched it probably more than i can remember. Stallone continued making entertaining action films, and during this time i did finally see the first two Rambo films. The first one is of course one of Stallone´s most iconic films, while the second one was pure violence entertainment. Since the late 80´s and during the 90´s both Stallone and Schwarzenegger have continued making fun action films. And it was expecially a special year in 2010, when Sylvester Stallone gathered some really big names in a new action project called The Expendables. With names such as Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Steve Austin, and legendary actors such as Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts and many more to join the cast, and i remember seeing the poster for the first time. It was like seeing heaven for real, because how often do you see Stallone, Dolph, Schwarzenegger and Jason Statham on the same poster? I saw the film in cinema when it came out, and fell in love. And i really love the sequels as well that followed. Since the first film of The Expendables turned 10 years this year, i thought it would be a good idea to revisit the film and see how i feel about it, 10 years later. Does the first film of this franchise still hold up today, or has the magic faded away a bit ?
The Expendables, a group of mercenaries based in New Orleans, deploy to the Gulf of Aden to save hostages to save hostages on a vessel from Somali pirates. The team consists of leader Barney Ross ( Sylvester Stallone ), blade specialist Christmas ( Jason Statham ), martial artist Yin Yang ( Jet Li ), military veteran Gunner Jensen ( Dolph Lundgren ), weapons specialist Hale Ceaser ( Terry Crews ), and demolitions expert Toll Road ( Randy Couture ). The mission does not go as planned, and Gunner loose control as he tries to hang a pirate, and this is something Barney can not accept. He is forced to fire Gunner off the team. Barney Ross and his rival Trench Mauser ( Arnold Schwarzenegger ) visit Mr Church ( Bruce Willis ) for a new mission. Trench passes the contract to Ross, wich is to overthrow General Garza ( David Zayas ) in Vilena, and Island in the gulf of Mexico. Ross and Barney fly over there to meet there contact Sandra ( Giselle Itié ), but are discovered. It is revealed that ex-CIA officer James Munroe ( Eric Roberts ) is keeping Garca in power as a figurehead for his own profiteering operations. To get this mission done, Barney have no other choice but to get help from the whole Expendables team.
Looking at the first The Expendables movie 10 years later, you can still get that feeling of returning to your roots, where you belong. Seeing so many action stars gathered in a film like this is like going straight back to the VHS era. You get lots of violence, fighting, explosions, guns, funny dialogue and some fun cameos, such as Arnorld Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. One of the biggest reasons why this film is such a fun ride, is that you get a lot of nostalgic feelings with these characters. They are all old school soldiers, who have survived in wars, and this is their own family where they still matter, even if they are getting older. Sylvester Stallone actually manage to bring back the nostalgic feeling of action films of the 80´s, and still make it feel like it is a classic action concept. The characters in this film are fun, and throw punchlines at each other all the time, that feels connected to these legendary actors past. One of the things i have to mention, is one of the best acting performances in this film, and that comes from legendary actor Eric Roberts ( who most people remember from Runaway Train and Best Of The Best ) as the character James Munroe. Not only does Eric Robert give one of the better evil characters of the 2000´s, he also give one of his best acting performances in many years. Sylvester Stallone as the main character Barney Ross, is a perfect match for this film. He is rough, and he is not afraid to take chances, while somehwere inside of him, there is a good heart for the people that he cares for. Stallone have no problem giving this character a charming personality, and knows how to please the audience. Jason Statham as the character Christmas is the comedy highlight of this film, and he impress us as always with his physique. Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis are unfortunately not seen much in this film ( they get more screentime in The Expendables 2 ), but it is still fun to see them together. The action scenes are fast, hard and entertaining, just the way you want a film like this to be. And i think if you are going to do an action film like this, with so many Hollywood stars, you need to make it fun, and this is exactly what this film does well. Director Sylvester Stallone proves that he still knows what he is doing in the action genre after so many years in Hollywood, and he lands this film right into the right spot, with a very high entertaniment value. I have a feeling that this will be a cult classic in the future, because we will never see a better action franchise than The Expendables. A must have in your DVD or Blu Ray collection.