No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.
In The Expendables, writer-director-star Sylvester Stallone gathers together a small mercenary army of leftover 80s action stars and a few wannabe youngsters to kick some ass and take some names. This flick sprang from (among other films):
• Rambo (2008), in which Stallone also flashed back to the macho paramilitary flicks of a quarter of a century, reprising his iconic character for one last mission.
• Rocky Balboa (2006), Stallone’s much more sensitive and surprisingly bittersweet look at the aging muscleman that is his iconic boxer.
• Death Race (2008), for one of Expendables’ (relative) youngsters, Jason Statham, who is no stranger to throwback flicks, as this remake of the 70s exploitation flick shows; here, he’s a race-car driver trying to survive vehicular gladiatorial games in prison.
• Masters of the Universe (1987), for Expendable Dolph Lundgren in some actual 80s action cheese as the sci-fi meathead hero He-Man.
Where to buy:
Death Race [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Masters of the Universe [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Rambo [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Rocky Balboa [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]