(out of 5)
Action heroes of the eighties are combined with a few more modern personalities for what should be a superbly fun indulgence in all-star power but is ultimately not very memorable. Sylvester Stallone writes and directs himself as the head of a team of mercenary fighters who follow a slick rescue in Somalia with an even more dangerous assignment. Mysterious operative Arnold Schwarzenegger wants Sly to take his team to the corrupt (and fictional) island of Vilena in the Gulf of Mexico to get rid of a former CIA agent (Eric Roberts) who has gone rogue, corrupting local military officials and running a dangerous drug ring. Our hero gathers up Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews and a whole host of others as they make their way down south and clean up a dirty town with their big muscles and even bigger guns. There is nothing but the makings of a great night out at the movies, and yet the whole thing plays too fast and slim: a few jokes here and there don’t ring out and the action scenes are tired and colourless. What made the older guys in the cast legends of their day wasn’t just brawn, they had personality even when they didn’t master dialogue delivery, and yet the camaraderie that should be an added pleasure to this operation is nowhere to be found. Stallone doesn’t even show off his own underappreciated talent, those quietly controlled eyes combined with his sassy mouth, let alone allowing any of his co-stars to display their proven charisma. Also features Mickey Rourke as the tattoo artist whose parlour provides the film with the opportunity for male Steel Magnolias moments that never really happen.
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Story by Dave Callaham, Screenplay by Dave Callaham, Sylvester Stallone
Cinematography by Jeffrey L. Kimball
Music by Brian Tyler
Production Design by Franco-Giacomo Carbone
Costume Design by Lizz Wolf