Anyone who, as kids, grew up watching the slam-bam fist-pumping testosterone fueled action blockbusters that Hollywood loved dishing out during the 80s and 90s, would have given an arm and a leg to see Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, the two biggest action superstars of that era, battling the bad guys together. But such a coup was never brought about then. Consequently, The Expendables provided for a much belated realization of the wet dream for the child who possibly still resides in me to see Arnie and Sly sharing screen-space, albeit for a very short while – that Bruce Willis, another contemporary of the two now-ageing and hulking former larger-than-life stars, was also there, made that short scene even more memorable. A number of modern-day action stars are there in it along with Stallone in its all-star cast, including the likes of Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, among others. The movie’s plot, style and execution, too, are a throwback to (and a parody of) the aforementioned decades – a group of elite mercenaries, who operate miles outside the law, being given the clandestine task of liquidating the tinpot dictator of a South American country. Unbeknownst to them, the dictator is being backed by a rogue CIA agent; the group is on the verge of calling off this mission, but decides to go back nevertheless as Ross (Stallone), the group’s de facto leader, has developed a soft corner for the dictator’s rebel daughter. What follows in this no-brainer and hyper-explosive display of machismo is, to use a very mild descriptor, utter rampage. Understandably, watch it only if you grew up in the said era.
Director: Sylvester Stallone