Expend4bles Movie Review

Image Source: Digital Spy

Movie: Expend4bles

Production Companies: Lionsgate, Millennium Media, Media Capital Technologies, Nu Boyana Film Studios, Campbell Grobman Films

Director: Scott Waugh

Producers: Scott Waugh, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham

Scriptwriters: Kurt Wimmer, Tad Daggerheart, Max Adams

Main Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Megan Fox

Release Date: 22nd September 2023

Running Time: 103 minutes

Certificate: 15

Introduction: The fourth of the franchise – which should have ended a long time ago- is perhaps the worst film I’ve ever seen, leaving me seriously wondering why they even bothered.

Synopsis: The group of mercenaries are tasked with retrieving a nuclear device before it falls into the wrong hands.

Analysis: When the first ‘Expendables’ came out back in 2010, it was admittedly something quite interesting to see – all the old school action heroes that made Hollywood reuniting together again – now, to say that it has fizzled out would be an understatement. Since it’s been such a long gap since the last one, surely that is enough of an indication that no one cares anymore- apparently not. Expend4bles just feels like a braindead actioner that goes boom – boom all the time, it just doesn’t feel the same as it’s predecessors (which weren’t great themselves but were relatively fun and enjoyable) with it’s cringe worthy sensibility and poorly executed form. It can’t seem to replicate what made the others watchable. Especially when, compared to modern action films we have today – the ‘John Wick’ franchise being the prime example. This is an absolute dumpster fire.

The whole notion of ‘old blood meets new blood’ – the film’s tagline – was done in the last film and done better when a younger team was introduced to the old one. An indication, I find, is the obvious lack of faith in the film is seeing just how much the cast list has shrunk, especially when compared to the third installment (which is my favourite), and that sets off enough alarm bells as it is. As soon as I saw the poster and trailer, I knew this would be an issue. Half the cast look so bored and look like they don’t want to be there – Stallone being the worst, ironic because he started this series of films. To say the chemistry between the group is non-existent would be kind. All of this is worsened by the fact that they are reciting the worst dialogue I have ever been unfortunate enough to listen to.

There is an insult the villain says to Jason Statham’s character that was the absolute icing on the cake. I would repeat it, but it was in such poor taste and humor that I can’t even be bothered. I chuckled in astonished disbelieve that this was actually said. The film’s general idea of comedy is just embarrassing. Heaven only knows what the budget for this was as I’ve played old video games that looked better for whatever excuse for special effects this was. It seems as if they hired the same people from ‘White House Down’ and Gerrard Butler’s ‘Fallen’ series as these seems to be the only other films that look as bad as this.

Being a martial arts film fan, I was personally very excited to see the likes of professionals Iko Uwais and Tony Jaa on screen, the former being in what is perhaps the best action film ever made: ‘The Raid’. They both have the freedom to demonstrate their skills and expertise (which I’m glad about) but I couldn’t help but feel like the films lacklustre action execution did them a disservice. The camera felt far too shaky and chaotic during some of the fights, and if you’ve seen any of the two actors’ other films, you’ll notice the difference in quality. I will say, the fights you see throughout are done well enough to sustain your attention. The female characters (played well by Megan Fox and Levy Tran) are feisty and badass enough, but you can’t help but notice the lack of them. Given the fact that director Scott Waugh is a former stunt man, you’d expect more from the film.

Even if you just go in for the action, there is no denying that you will get that, I just thought it was lazily done, but may you think differently. In the end, the worst thing about the film is that it’s not even enjoyably bad. I went into this ready to turn my brain off and just enjoy the ride, I couldn’t even do that. They’ve so clearly run out of ideas with a cast that look bored out of their mind in a franchise that should’ve stopped eleven years ago. I actually hesitated leaving the cinema due to how quickly and abruptly the film had ended, it seems to only have 2 main action set pieces in a film that should have more. This film also marks the first time I’ve ever had an entire cinema to myself in all my 17 years of going (bear in mind I saw this at lunchtime on a weekend so it should’ve been busy) and that tells you all you need to know.

Overall Rating: 2.5/10 – Very Bad

Target Audience: 15+

Content Warning: Strong Bloody Violence, Gore, Language, Sex References

Recommendation: No