Sylvester Stallone is at it again. Racking up the body count, amping up the explosions and jacking up the testosterone levels, The Expendables is Sly’s latest venture into the film world. For his latest outing, he gets behind and in front of the camera in what is sure to be a roller coaster ride of a film.
Having assembled a pretty rocking cast (one in which the amount of cosmetically enhanced faces would even make Joan Rivers cringe), Stallone hopes to deliver the must see action film of the summer. Prominent action stars like Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and Stallone himself all star in the film and with more than enough violence and action, Stallone hopes to bring us back to his glory days.
The Expendables is a throwback to 80′s action films, a genre Stallone knows all too well and one that he help defined with Rambo. Clearly hoping to spawn a franchise or at least a sequel or two, Stallone brings together his colourful cast to create what is a ‘guy’ film, in the truest sense.
While you may cry out that Stallone is past his heyday and should have retired from the action genre long ago, The Expendables should change your mind about that. After watching the film, you’ll be assured that Stallone is still very capable of making exciting and thrilling action movies.
Click here to read the rest of our theatrical review on The Expendables.
So we all know how the film went over, but how does the Blu-Ray hold up? Let’s take a look.
As one would imagine, this film is loud and aggressive. Gunfire and explosions are the name of the game here and the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix supports the film wonderfully. The track is wildly robust and very heavy on the bass. Things in your room will rumble, if you’re using an appropriate stereo system. It’s not all bass though, everything that is presented here sounds good. Whizzing bullets fly over your head with clear directionality, automatic shotguns have never sounded so good and explosions rumble through the room. Dialogue is always clear and never drowned out and overall, this is a superb audio track. Your speakers are guaranteed a workout.
Video-wise, the film isn’t terrible, but it’s far from spectacular. Let’s start with the good. It’s a sharp picture with some fine detail that looks amazing. Colours come off as real and rich and skin tones are accurate. Things fall a part a bit when it comes to a couple of the CG effects that looked crummy in theatres as they still look crummy here and things sometimes do get a bit murky during night scenes. Overall though, it’s an acceptable picture and it’s far from bad.
When it comes to the special features, while it’s a crime we don’t get a director’s cut, we do get the following:
- Commentary from Stallone.
- Ultimate Recon Mode
- Comic Con 2010 Panel (1080i; 45:29)
- Inferno: The Making of ‘The Expendables’ (HD; 1:31:42)
- From the Ashes: Post Production (HD; 26:36)
- Gag Reel (SD; 5:03)
- Deleted Scene (SD; 00:45)
- Marketing Archive, which contains the Trailer, TV Spots, and PR Posters.
What we have here is a fantastic collection of special features. Really, this is a great offering. The marketing archive, deleted scene and gag reel can be ignored but everything else is definitely worth a watch. The commentary and ultimate recon mode are both features viewed alongside the film. The commentary from Stallone is great and very informative. Same goes for the ultimate recon mode. It’s a PIP mode where you get interviews, behind the scenes footage and more while you watch the film. Like the commentary it’s informative and worth watching.
The Comic Con panel is a great addition for those who never got a chance to see it. It’s a fun interview piece where the main stars of the film talk to an audience at Comic Con. It’s a bit long but still enjoyable to watch.
Then we come to the behind the scenes features. There are two, one focusing on the production of the film and the other one focusing on the post-production. Both are very well done and the one focusing on production comes in at a whopping hour and half, ensuring that all aspects of making the film are covered. Both features are very well done and fans of the film will surely appreciate both.
In conclusion, this is a very solid Blu-Ray. The film itself is pure entertainment and despite its flaws, I’m sure you’ll end up feeling satisfied. The audio is beast, especially if you have the right sound system and while the video isn’t the best, it definitely doesn’t look bad, by any means. When it comes to the special features, I really enjoyed what was offered here, especially those two behind the scenes features. If you liked the film in theatres, then go out and pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed.
The Expendables features tons of exciting action and fantastic stunts. It's great to see all these action stars on screen together and overall, this is a very fun film.