Expend4bles Review

Home » Blogs » Expend4bles Review

This is not an easy movie to put into words. Expend4bles, although it tries hard, cannot come close to the quality of its knock-a-good-time predecessors; it is an annoying film that never stops. Fortunate should be those who have left this action-movie all-star franchise voluntarily or by force.

Expend4bles’ plot about tracking a flimsy nuke that makes no sense along with poorly done battle scenes is becoming irrelevant. In spite of the nine year gap separating The Expendables 3 and Expend4bles, the last being released in 2019, some of the best action movies and TV shows in recent times were made during this period, which partially explains why they are set in the late 80s and early 90s – John Wick (2018), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and Wu Assassins (2019). Yet Wu Assassins star Iko Nuwais gets nothing approaching the visceral brawling of that 10-episode Netflix showcase in Expend4bles. Also frustratingly frivolous is Barney’s reunion with his mates after returning to their old R-rated ways for number five.

In this fourth installment of the franchise, The Expendables go on a mission to prevent terrorist organization leader Suarto Rahmat played by Uwais from moving nuclear warheads meant for starting a war between United States and Russia. And if it was not enough there may be a mole within them while behind everything might be Ocelot a faceless nemesis of Barney. It’s more nuanced than that but knowing such would suffice. No one comes into a cinema expecting tricky plots right?

The same group still exists under Barney as head but for the first time Stallone himself takes second place in billing after Jason Statham’s reprisal role as Lee Christmas. This isn’t much of an elevation just yet: a cast headed by Statham, let alone Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson or Megan Fox or even Andy Garcia, would not be mistaken for the gun-wielding behemoths of the initial trilogy. Expend4bles however squanders this nostalgic talent thus doing disservice to their contributions in the genre: Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) is shown as turning his life around and attaining sobriety but one day he falls off the wagon just to have a sip. It’s hard not to drink while watching Expend4bles.

From the get-go, it’s clear that the bar is set low. Expend4bles however looks so bad that I was more than simply taken out of this film; it literally pushed me out. Most scenes in the final cut are either green-screened or created on a version of Volume you could purchase at a dime store (a fake window). Even before considering its special effects, some seem unfinished but others are awfully poor. The explosions involving blood come across like something pulled from a mid-low budget 00’s console game graphic suite; those slow motion shots where all actors walk towards the camera at once cannot look faker and more janky if they were shot during one of those “photo experiences” at any suburban mall.

It is the clunky and uninspired dialogue that seems terrible as it mostly is, being presented with no more passion or conviction than a wet rag. Often the actors seem almost ashamed to be uttering their lines; indeed, in one scene there’s a sex toy seen on a shelf in a bar that has more life about them than some of the big names gathered here. This was especially true when there was an element of sophisticated cheesiness to earlier casts who seemed to have held it with both hands and practically dined on it. In Expend4bles, everybody’s over it. There isn’t even much of the knowing, self-deprecating snark that made previous entries appealing enough to watch them again. These include nods to Sly Stallone’s other action characters Barney’s history of thumb wrestling (rather than arm wrestling, like Over the Top) leads Christmas to call him “Thumbo.” It does not hit home any stronger than that though. Almost immediately depleted are a number of half-hearted gags – including one about Toll Road’s (Randy Couture) wrestling-related ear injury and another where Jensen wears a wig.

The popularity of The Expendables movies has been built off as much brawn and chatter as they have been by their posters’ namesakes but what is showcased through Expend4bles plays like underfunded theme park stunt work. One way or another either poorly executed or edited badly making for either chaotic scenes that were hard to follow and understand at all or scenes that looked so bad they seemed unreal at first glance. So often the jokes come out worse than anything else despite the fact they’re meant to be funny anyway as kicks & punches frequently miss just like humor equally miserably too. Whenever any of these components arrive at its audience successfully, presenting hope for improvement, such anticipations are dashed almost immediately afterwards. Even things like an inhaler merged with Happy Meal toy which resembles an igniter and a fan’s imitation of a bomb seem like they were made cheap.


Expend4bles is a crushing disappointment that lacks any of the nostalgia, charisma, and charm that made the franchise appealing in the first place. Perhaps worst of all, this failed mission is boring. There is no pleasure taken in saying this once highly entertaining action franchise is well past its AARPrime. It would have been great to have rounded the series off with a fifth entry, but after this flat and uninspired effort, the franchise doesn’t deserve that last hoorah.

Also, Read On Fmovies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *