You guys ran out of ammo.
Since “Expend4bles” is said to be the last film to star Sylvester Stallone, it seems typical that they would try to deceive the audience into thinking they would kill his character Barney Ross. If you’ve seen a number of movies, you can tell this character can’t really be dead, and has found a way to trick his enemies into thinking they killed him. Maybe I do watch too many movies, but at least I’m able to see some originality in them.
The last “Expendables” sequel “The Expendables 3” was given a PG-13 rating, because weeks before it’s release, a DVD quality version of the film was released online. And since that would detract moviegoers from seeing it in theaters, they had to tone it down a bit. The unrated version, which was the original version, was eventually released, but that didn’t make much of a difference. Either way, I thought it was one of the worst films of 2014.
Now, we have “Expend4bles,” which is another bomb in this franchise, which started off well and then ran out ammo. One that relies on bullets and action, more bullets and action, and one-liners these A-list stars think are a lot funnier than we do. And I don’t know which is worse: the faking one’s death cliche or Megan Fox’s entrance to the franchise.
Things are changing for our fellow mercenaries. Barney reflects on how he failed to defeat a villain with the code name Ocelot, Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) just got dumped by the new girl Gina (Fox), Gunner (Dolph Lundgren) has a Farrah Fawsett hairstyle, Toll Road (Randy Couture) has to pee on an escape hatch that requires liquid to open, and they also have new recruits. Besides Gina, there’s also Easy Day (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson), Galan (Jacob Scipio), and Lash (Levy Tran).
The new villain is a terrorist named Suarto Rahmat (Ito Uwais), who plans to steal some detonators to begin another Cold War. When that same villain seemingly kills Barney (and I mean seemingly), it now becomes personal to Christmas.
But of course, the new boss (Andy Garcia) boots him out of the team for disobeying direct orders. Ungrateful bastard. So, Christmas is on his own, puts a tracker on Gina’s device, and recruits assistance from a former Expendable named Decha (Tony Jaa) to send the villain to his grave. And of course, that boss has to be revealed as a bad guy. I know that’s a spoiler alert, but I must prevent you loyal readers from seeing this piece of crap.
“Expand4bles” works only when Statham and Stallone continue their chemistry, but because of the tired cliche, it’s too short to overcome the bombastic behaviors. The screenplay makes no sense, the new characters are dull and superficial, and the jokes aren’t funny. It might bring in a crowd of action fans, who like B-movie entertainment value, but even “Heart of Stone” had more style and action than this did. I’ll take Gal Gadot over Megan Fox any day. Is it supposed to be entertaining and funny when she and Statham have a sexy fight? Don’t know, don’t care.
This article was written by me with full support of the SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strikes.