Stallone has a line in the trailer in which he says, “I got my ass kicked.” Take my money.
The three key points to this film were the acting, humor, and action.
The cast consisted of big names: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, just to name a few! (Arnold and Bruce are only in it for a cute little comedy bit that’s five minutes long.)
They all play themselves, essentially. All of them could use some positive press and a kick in the rear to accelerate their careers (or what’s left of them). What makes the Expendables work is the fact that these actors don’t take themselves seriously. This movie is a bunch of testosterone fueled men who are going to kick some ass. And they know it. They don’t try to be serious, which makes their performances as themselves work.
For such a violent movie, there was a great deal of humor included. Seeing the guys banter with each other was satisfying. The humor created a sort of bond between them, and so it was easy to believe that these big stars are friends and have been for a long time. Stallone and Statham play off of each other very well, notably.
Lastly, and most importantly, the action of the movie was breathtaking. Guns, knifes, car chases, torture, C4, explosives, punches, and more were in every sequence. That’s what you’re going to see it for, right? A charred T-Bone is what I have on my plate.