EXPEND4BLES is the official title, not just the internet nickname, for the fourth EXPENDABLES movie. It’s hard to believe that this series has now been going for 13 years – the first one is as old as COP LAND, ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA AND AMERICA, THE PEACEKEEPER, THE JACKAL, BATMAN & ROBIN and DOUBLE TEAM were when it came out. So most of us have long since given up on our dream of what we thought an all-star team up of iconic action stars could or should be. THE EXPENDABLES was never a return to the glory days of ’80s and ‘90s action, always hamstringing itself with misguided attempts to appeal to some other audience. It was never an amplification of the stars’ powers, as they had to work so hard to fit them all in that most of them didn’t get a chance to shine. And it was never the action genre at its best, as the scripts were never focused enough, they were often too winky, with jokes that were so basic they arguably don’t even count as jokes, and even the one Stallone directed had him trying to fake some bullshit modern style instead of do what he did best.
Surprisingly for a part 4, and one that came out a full 7 years after part 3, EXPEND4BLES is not trying to reinvent the wheel or correct any of those missteps. It’s just like yeah, we’re stilling doing these, why wouldn’t we? It looks cheaper than the others (with the most generic settings imaginable, even when they’re just fake looking green screen backdrops), but for the most part not all that much worse or better than I remember the others being at the time, though admittedly I haven’t rewatched them. This has a few funny ideas, a few okay fights, some funny splatter moments (digital), but mostly its strengths are that it still has some of the same guys, who I enjoy seeing in movies, and also it has some new guys who I enjoy seeing in movies. Even though this is none of their best work. (read the rest of this shit…)