Who actually watches the ‘Expendables’ movies? Are there legions of middle-aged weightlifting nuts out there who yearn for the good old days of Chuck Norris mowing down foreign Johnnies with an uzi 9mm?
This time, Sylvester Stallone (who also writes this nonsense) and his irony-deficient band of pumped-up ’80s-era mercenaries are taking on the international arms trade in the form of Mel Gibson’s cackling ex-Expendable. To assist, Stallone hauls in Wesley Snipes as an ex-con doctor, Harrison Ford looking bored to tears as a CIA boss and Arnold Schwarzenegger returning as, well, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Zero character development is given to any of these three (let alone the platoon of interchangeable young bucks that Sly also ropes onto the team). Meanwhile, director Patrick Hughes, whose only previous credit is forgettable Aussie Western ‘Red Hill’, is clearly way out of his depth in the action set-pieces.
So thank the gods of war for Antonio Banderas, who single-handedly steals (and almost saves) the show as a loquacious assassin.