Posted August 14 2010 - 04:50 AM
With so many beloved action movie stars in this movie, you pretty much know what you're in for when you go see it, and on that level, the film doesn't disappoint, though it takes a while to get going, and only a few of the characters get much in terms of backstory or even current day personal details, but when it comes to delivering a framework where this stable of action heroes/villains can do what they do best, mainly bring the high-energy hand-to-hand combat, combine that with an insane amount of guns, bullets and firepower on display.
The plot is simple enough, a rag-tag group of mercenaries headed by Sylvester Stallone's character gets a job to take out a military dictator in the South American side of the world. The bad guy characterizations are mainly paper-thin, though Eric Roberts does what he can with what he's given in the script. The film takes a while to get to the big action sequences in the end, but the script peppers action bits all throughout the first half of the film as well, in case the audience is nodding off from all the character build-up of sad, lonely mercenaries and bad guys while setting the table for the theater of conflict later on. The script is okay, with a few decent one-liners that most action heroes get to chew on in their own movies. It's
a delicate balancing act to get so many characters involved with their own purpose and motivations, can't say it was entirely successful, but it's decent enough to push the movie along without losing audience sympathy for the mercenaries.
There were bits of digital blood splatter that detracted from all the violence and gunfire in the film, but the violence does pull its weight in bringing about some good ol' fashion brutal killings when it's call for in the stand-off situations, very much in-line with the carnage shown in "Rambo" a few years ago, perhaps a little more stylized, though.
So if you're in the mood for some violent, messy, action pr0n, and can sit through some of the slower parts, this is the movie for you.
I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.