The Expendables franchise has made a surprising return with Expendables 4, marking a decade since its last installment. While skepticism looms about the demand for another entry, fans of 80s and 90s action films may find themselves in familiar territory. In this review, we delve into the resurrection of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and their ensemble of action heroes, exploring whether this installment successfully recaptures the franchise’s former glory.
A Hearty Feast for Die-Hard Fans
Expend4bles serves as a tailored cinematic meal for die-hard fans, brimming with goofy banter and gleefully violent action sequences. It remains unapologetically true to its genre roots, offering an indulgent experience. However, it is important to note that this film may not resonate with those who disdain such over-the-top action or lack attachment to its nostalgic origins.
Shifting Leadership and Ensemble Cast
In this latest escapade, Jason Statham’s Lee Christmas takes the reins from Sylvester Stallone’s Barney Ross as the lead character. Familiar faces like Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture make a return, though notable absences like Terry Crews and Jet Li are felt. The addition of Curtis 50 Cent Jackson, Megan Fox, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy Garcia injects fresh blood into the team, though character development for the newcomers is lacking.
An Action-Oriented Narrative
Expend4bles places action at the forefront, with the plot primarily serving as a backdrop for the relentless carnage. The storyline, while somewhat silly, revolves around the Expendables’ mission to thwart a former British national turned arms dealer (Iko Uwais) from initiating World War III. Personal vendettas propel the team forward, but a subplot involving a mysterious antagonist named Ocelot remains underdeveloped and uninteresting.
Mixed Performances and Action Galore
The performances in Expend4bles are a mixed bag, not only among the new cast members but also from the veterans. Despite this, the movie excels where it matters most – in the action department. Director Scott Waugh delivers what fans anticipate: macho banter, cheesy one-liners, and an abundance of bullets, blades, and bodies. Jason Statham shines in this action-packed spectacle, with Tony Jaa adding to the excitement in the latter half of the film.
The Final Verdict
Expendables 4 may not reinvent the wheel, but it successfully caters to its target audience, offering a nostalgic trip back to the glory days of over-the-top action cinema. While lacking in character development and storytelling, it delivers an ample dose of explosive action and camaraderie. If you’re a fan of the franchise and the genre it represents, Expend4bles is a worthwhile addition to your watchlist.
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