When I heard about the fourth film in the franchise, I knew that I wanted to see “Expend4bles”. Part of the reason is because the action and dialogue are always fun. I also happen to love Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham. After watching the film, I found the fourth film as exciting, as fun and action packed as the first three with a tremendous cast, well executed action scenes and humorous dialogue.
“Expend4bles” also known as The Expendables 4 is an action film and the fourth installment in The Expendables film series and is directed by Scott Waugh with the script written by Kurt Wimmer, Tad Daggerhart, and Max Adams. In the film, The Expendables are sent to Libya on a mission by CIA operative Marsh (Andy Garcia) to keep a mercenary Rahmat (Iko Uwait) from stealing nuclear codes for the mysterious Ocelot who Barney has failed to capture 25 years earlier. In the fight, the team, Easy Day (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson), Toll Road (Randy Couture, Gunner (Dolph Lundgren), and Galan (Jacob Scipio) find their vehicles incapacitated and Christmas (Jason Statham) is unable to save Barney from crashing. Removed from the mission to find Barney’s killer, Christmas is replaced by Gina (Megan Fox), his former lover as well as another operative Lash (Levy Tran). Christmas travels to Thailand to recruit a former expendable Decha (Tony Jaa) and convinces him to go after the team to help. But when he joins the rest of the expendables, they have to find a way to stop Rahmat and Ocelot from blowing up a nuclear bomb and figure out the identity of Ocelot. Will they defuse the bomb and escape with their lives?
One of the first aspects I enjoyed in this film were the action scenes. The action sequences are seriously well executed. While there was a lot of fighting, a lot of stunts and a lot of explosions, I also never felt thrown out of the scene. The fighting felt believable if on the edge of what was realistic but it was fun because you could imagine the individuals being well trained enough to pull off the actions. I also loved little bits like Gunnar having difficulty shooting as well after six months of sobriety or Gina being a better fighter than Christmas. Those little elements and details added to the fun of the action. The explosions weren’t just for show but added to the excitement.
Another element I liked were the humorous moments in the dialogue and the script. There are a couple scenes between Stallone and Statham where Stallone’s character sits out a fight, saying he hurt his back. Then it magically gets better. The character of Galan talking nonstop on the flight was hilarious as was the reaction from the other characters. All of these moments add to the humor and fun of the film.
The music soundtrack for this film is incredible and helps drive a lot of the tension. From the first song, you know immediately that the action is going to start. The songs are more modern, more upbeat but also help set the mood of the movie, enhancing the sense of danger, the action, and the romantic scenes between Christmas and Gina. Even with explosions going off, the music was always in the background, adding a musical beat that speeds along the pace of the film.
In this film, both Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone are fantastic. Both actors are clearly having fun with their roles and the dynamic in their interactions is one of humor. Statham is much looser and great fun to watch. The chemistry between him and Megan Fox is believable. Megan Fox gives a solid performance as the leader of the team and her portrayal is realistic. The rest of the cast, Curtis Jackson, Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Andy Garcia, Randy Couture, Jason Scipio, and Levy Tran, all have their moments to shine. While most of the plot is action, the actors still bring humor and great performances that add to the action. Sylvestor Stallone is fun and the film makes the most of his talent. The interactions between the cast shows teamwork and depth of emotion.
What is less complex is the plot. While I loved the action and the dialogue, the interactions between the characters, the film is completely predictable. I know right from the beginning who Ocelot actually is and what Christmas is going to do after being kicked off the team. It would have been nice if the film had made the audience guess a bit more and have some more unpredictable choices. Despite that, the film was still fun, the action made up for the plot and I did like that we did have two female operatives, one leading the team.
If you like the franchise, the other Expendable films, you will love this one as well. The action is well executed, the cast has fun with their portrayals, and the dialogue is full of humor. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously but just gives the audience what they are looking for, a great cast with a fun and action packed movie. Having a female lead the team allows for growth among the characters and overall, I had a blast watching the movie.
Rating: 3.5 knives out of 5.