Movie Summaries: "The Expendables"

by Helen Harvey
Much of

Much of "The Expendables" was filmed in Rio de Janeiro.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

If you're looking for some action-packed escapism, you could do worse than renting "The Expendables." With an $82 million dollar budget, the movie is a glossy and commercially successful ensemble thriller. It opened in August 2010 at number one in the U.S., U.K., India and China. It was sufficiently successful to warrant a sequel to be released in 2012 with the title -- you've guessed it -- "The Expendables 2."


It is Stallone versus Lundgren in this action thriller. Barney Ross, played by Sylvester Stallone, leads a team of elite mercenaries on a mission to free hostages from a pirated vessel off the coast of Somalia. During the mission,Ross questions the psychology of team member Gunnar Jensen, played by Dolph Lundgren, and fires him. Upon completion of the mission, the team returns to its home base in New Orleans, where a mysterious client known as Mr. Church, played by Bruce Willis, offers them and a rival mercenary played by Arnold Schwarzenegger the job of overthrowing an evil South American dictator named Garza. The team travels to Vilena, where they clash violently with Garza and his henchmen, who, wouldn't you know it, now have Jensen working for them.


How many action movie heroes do you need in one movie? Led by Sylvester Stallone, this testosterone-overloaded action fest also offers up Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham and Jet Li. Rounding out the cast are Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Eric Roberts. Giselle Itie and Charisma Carpenter offer up the eye candy.


David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay, and Stallone directed the film. Filmed in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans and Los Angeles, the 103-minute movie was backed by Nu Image and Millennium Films and distributed by Lionsgate.

Critical Response

This movie was never going to win an Oscar, and moviegoers were happy enough to buy tickets, regardless of its mixed reviews. Out of a possible score of 100 on, the movie has a mean score of 45, based on 35 reviews from professional critics.


  • "Leonard Maltin's 2011 Movie Guide"; Leonard Maltin; 2010

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images