The Expendables experience has been kind of like that.
|Statham, Stallone and Couture take on bad men|
The movie starts off quickly, with the Expendables, a team of elite mercenaries led by Sylvester Stallone's Barney Ross, conduct a messy hostage rescue mission on a boat in the Gulf of Adan. The team, consisting of blades specialist Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), martial artist Yin Yang (Jet Li), sniper Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and demolitions expert Toll Road (Randy Couture), successfully rescue the hostages in dramatic fashion, but afterwards Ross is forced to kick Jensen out of the group for his growing psychological problems. It's a bad sign if your buddies think you're too crazy to be a good mercenary, but any good viewer would doubt this is the last we've seen of Jensen. Not long after, the Expendables' former teammate and mission coordinator Tool (Mickey Rourke) comes to them with a job offer, calling it "hell and back". On the island of Vilena, in the Gulf of Mexico, a dictator by the name of General Garza has taken over and practically enslaved his own people, with the might of the island's military behind him. The mission is to eliminate Garza, but upon performing a reconnaissance mission of the island, Ross and Christmas discover that Garza is backed by former C.I.A. spook James Munroe (Eric Roberts) and his goons Paine (Steve Austin) and The Brit (Gary Daniels), determining that Munroe is the true target.
|Rourke also performs as the teams' Swiss masseuse|
|Stallone demands only the best cameos|
|Roberts and Austin dodge an attack by movie critics|
|(l-r) Stallone, Li, Couture, Crews, Statham|
Nevertheless, The Expendables is a fun, independent and mindless source of entertainment, able to be enjoyed by action novices or experts alike, it's a rarity to see this many big names on one screen, even if several of them are a little long in the tooth. It's a film about friendship, making a difference and brotherhood, but also one in which men are blown up, burnt to a crisp, and decapitated in the most violent ways possible. For some (many, it seems), that is enough. It most certainly isn't for everybody. It's no Eat, Pray, Love, but when it makes that much at the box office, it doesn't have to be.