The fourth Expendables movie has arrived and we checked it out to see if it’s any good.
After several delays, The Expend4bles arrived in theaters to continue the adventures of Barney Ross and his ever-changing band of mercenaries. While it seemed the story ended on the perfect note in The Expendables 3, the trailer promised enough action that it seemed worth the risk to check out a fourth entry.
I should’ve remembered the oft-shared warning that trailers lie.
I regret to inform you that whatever low bar you’ve set for The Expend4bles based on the previous entries, this film will probably fail to meet it. Everything about this film feels “off” compared to what came before. Most of the humor doesn’t land, the story is incredibly weak, and the CGI, oh goodness the CGI. It’s 2023, if the CGI shots are blatantly visible in a film with a $100 million dollar budget, then the filmmakers have royally screwed up somewhere. It was practically impossible to fully immerse into the chase scenes because it was blatantly obvious most of the scenes were shot against a green screen. I understand why this had to happen, but it shouldn’t be so obvious.
None of this helped the story, which was so incredibly weak even I took notice, and I’ve given this series a lot of slack in the narrative department up until now. The twists were glaringly obvious and had minimal shock factor when they did arrive. To be fair, The Expendables movies have never been known for excellent writing, but at least the first three were engaging with the occasional surprise. This movie couldn’t even do that much.
Then there was the team itself. This is nothing personal against anyone on the cast of this movie, but this particular combination of characters did not work. Part of what made me such a fan of the first three Expendables films in the first place was seeing all the older action stars working together and making a fun story. That camaraderie is just not there in this film. Even having a plethora of Jason Statham scenes wasn’t enough. The spark just wasn’t there.
All of this is to say that, if you have any regard for the original Expendables trilogy, you might want to spare yourselves the pain and skip seeing The Expend4bles in theaters, it just isn’t worth it.