Expend4bles (2023) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Excellent fight scenes, lots of guns, massive explosions, and some truly horrific and gory kills including a decapitation you never see coming.

Once upon a time, someone had the idea to take a bunch of aging action movie actors and put them in a film together.  The result was 2010's The Expendables which starred  Sylvester Stallone (Rocky franchise), Jason Stratham (The Meg), Bruce Willis (Die Hard), Jet Li (Kiss of the Dragon), etc.  Two years later the sequel was released and, while many of the original cast returned, there were also a number of substitutions including Chuck Norris (Walker, Texas Ranger) and Jean-Claude Van Damme (Bloodsport).  

Movie number three was released in 2014 and again had some substitutions within the cast - Antonio Banderas (Desperado), Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon), Harrison Ford (Star Wars franchise), and Wesley Snipes (Blade) to name a few.  This week, after a nine-year hiatus,  Expend4bles, is being released in theaters and like the previous three films, it brings back some of the old characters while adding a fresh, new crop of talent to the mix.

Expend4bles has a bit more of a plot line than the first three films. As 

While Expend4bles sees the return of Statham, Stallone,  Lundgren (Rocky IV), and  Couture (Big Stan), the new cast doesn't have quite the same star power as the previous films.  Yes, Curtis ' 50 Cent' Jackson (Power) attracts a different type of audience, he can't compete with Ford, Banderas, Gibson, etc. who made up the cast in the third Expendables.  Adding Fox also gives Expend4bles  a different element but still not enough of a draw to get audiences to head to movie theaters.

The movie, which has a better plot than the first three, starts out as usual with the CIA giving Barney and the gang an op to go on that will of course help save the world. Things go awry and the results are shocking  Once the team regroups, they set out to try again, and in typical Expendables fashion you can see where the film ends. Along the way, you get all the explosions, Martial Artists, and just plain badassery that these action stars are known for. If you have seen any of the other films, you know what you are getting with the original cast however, the new characters are touch and go. While most did a good job, there are moments where you wonder why they put Megan Fox in the movie besides as a throwback to 80s  action films' eye candy.

What will get fans of the franchise back is the hard R rating that was missing in the third film.  There are excellent fight scenes, lots of guns, massive explosions, and some truly horrific and gory kills including a decapitation you never see coming.  There is also the usual amount of witty banter we have come to expect from this movie series.  Director Scott Waugh (Need for Speed) stays true to the source material while adding his own flavor to the project including numerous close-ups that are so close they are almost bordering on uncomfortable. This latest movie also focuses more on the plot and the relationships between the members of the team giving the film a nice respite from all the fighting and showing a softer side/emotional component from the cast.

Unfortunately, some glaring issues with the movie cannot be overlooked.  There isn't any way to sugarcoat it so...CGI is awful and I mean AWFUL.  The background of many scenes is obviously fake and it is not only distracting but borders on laughable.  Then there is Andy Garcia's performance.  I'm not sure if it was the screenplay or his delivery (I suspect it is both) but he looked and sounded like an amateur rather than a veteran actor.  It was confusing because I couldn't believe what I was watching but either he needed to bow out of this movie or they needed to cast someone else.

Expend4bles is your typical action movie and is mainly on par with the first three films.  If you go into it with that mindset you won't be disappointed.  

Grade: C+ 



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For more information about Expend4bles visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Expend4bles images are courtesy of Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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