The Expendables, Sylvester Stallone, 103 mins, (15)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham
In which a bunch of macho has-beens and never-weres splash down in the action pond for one last go-round.
The man responsible is Sylvester Stallone, who directs, co-writes and stars as the leader of a group of mercenaries on a mission to liberate a South American island from tyranny. Eric Roberts plays the umpteenth besuited villain of his career. Stallone has dyed his hair and eyebrows as black as a raven's wing, but his ungainly huffing-and-puffing sprint is the giveaway. He's 64 this year. Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren and Mickey Rourke ramp up the collective age, while Jason Statham and Jet Li are on hand to entice a young audience with their lightning chopsocky moves. Youngsters, I hope, will have more sense. The script, bar one neat dig at Arnie, is entirely free of wit or irony, which suggests that Stallone was taking this old-boys' reunion pretty seriously. It would be a poignant state of affairs were the set-piece violence not so clumsy, the posturing not so laughable and the rock soundtrack not so horrifically uncouth.