Expend4bles Parent Guide
This film is brutally bad, and not just because of the violence.
Parent Movie Review
The Expendables, an elite group of mercenaries, have a new job: Some maniac hiding out in Libya has obtained a bunch of nuclear detonators which could be used to set off a nuclear weapon. Since that would be catastrophic for the world at large, CIA executive Marsh (Andy Garcia) has put the Expendables on the case.
When the op goes bad, Barney (Sylvester Stallone) is killed and terrorist Rahmat (Iko Uwais) makes off with the detonators. This bad news gets worse for Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) when Marsh blames him for the op’s failure. Christmas is taken off the team just as the other mercs fly off in pursuit of Rahmat. Never one to let others have all the fun, Christmas sets out on his own to catch up, save his friends, and prevent WWIII. Sounds like a casual weekend.
When I say that this movie is absolutely brutal, you might assume that I’m referring to the semi-constant bloodshed splattered across the screen, but that’s really not it. (For hardcore genre fans, that’s often a plus.) When I say it’s brutal, I mean that this is one of the most incoherent, unpleasant, and just downright bad films I’ve ever seen – and that’s just the title. This movie is the sensory equivalent of scooping your brain out of your head and replacing it with a blended concoction of 80’s action movies and broken glass. The editing is so disorienting that I not only lost track of the action, I lost track of all the reasons I was still in the theater and almost left before remembering that this is actually my job.
Thankfully, Expend4bles does not rely on your brain to be in good working order – or in any working order, come to think of it. The characters in this movie don’t have much in the way of intelligence or personality, so they just bat pieces of exposition that have already been explained at least three times between themselves like a schizophrenic cat playing with a well-worn ball of yarn. Despite the repetitive explanations, the plot still manages to be utterly inane. At its best, this movie is nearly two hours of familiar, foul-smelling, congealed nonsense. When the plot isn’t turning up like last night’s vomit in your bedding, it’s essentially forgettable. It’s just a way to stitch together big action set-pieces, so don’t worry if it doesn’t make a lick of sense.
Obviously, this isn’t a movie designed for family audiences. Not only is the body count somewhere around three digits, but there are no fewer than 45 f-bombs scattered whimsically throughout the exposition/dialogue. This is also one of the only films I’ve seen that depicts an alcoholic relapsing as a positive event. Weird choice, but perhaps the movie is more palatable if you shoot your blood alcohol content up around 0.3% or so. Please not that this is NOT a recommendation for alcohol consumption; besides, I don’t think it would help with the motion sickness generated by the editing, and it definitely won’t make the script any less abrasive. Besides, life is a lot harder without a liver - much harder than sitting through this dreck.
Directed by Scott Waugh. Starring Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, 50 Cent. Running time: 103 minutes. Theatrical release September 22, 2023. Updated September 22, 2023
Rating & Content Info
Why is Expend4bles rated R? Expend4bles is rated R by the MPAA for strong/bloody violence throughout, language and sexual material.
Violence: People are constantly shot, stabbed, blown up, impaled, burned, decapitated, beaten, and generally killed. Charred corpses are seen, and a hand is removed from a corpse as a trophy.
Sexual Content: Couples are seen kissing passionately and then lying in bed together partially clothed. Some scenes occur in a strip club, although no nudity is seen as all the dancers appear to be wearing bikinis. There are frequent crude sexual references in dialogue. A large “adult novelty toy” is seen.
Profanity: There are 46 sexual expletives, 16 scatological curses, and regular use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen smoking, drinking alcohol, and vaping.
Page last updated September 22, 2023
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For more teen-suitable action movies, you can try Red Notice, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dune, The Bourne Identity, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, Dungeons&Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Top Gun: Maverick, or Wonder Woman