The Expendables (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, War  |  July 1988 (USA)
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Captain Baronski, assigned a squad of misfit soldiers, trains them into a fighting powerhouse "The Expendables." Breaking every rule, they must risk their lives crossing into Cambodia to ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Finetti ...
Capt. Rosello
Peter Nelson ...
Sterling (as Peter Loren)
Kevin Duffis ...
William Steis ...
Vic Diaz ...
Tranh Um Phu
Lea Navarro ...
Phu Ling
David Light ...
Jeff Griffith ...
Eric Hahn ...
Don Wilson ...
Jim Moss ...
Don Holtz ...
Greg Rocero ...
Corwin Sperry ...


Captain Baronski, assigned a squad of misfit soldiers, trains them into a fighting powerhouse "The Expendables." Breaking every rule, they must risk their lives crossing into Cambodia to save the American hostages. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

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Release Date:

July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corpi senza valore  »

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Utilization Of A Vivid Background Does Not Help A Scenario Having Flawed Logic.
20 November 2011 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

This watchable melodrama, having a full share of fairly savage moments, avoids being one of Philippine schlockmeister Ciro Santiago's most flagrantly weak efforts, although it is recognized as a bald remake of the Robert Aldrich directed 1967 thick ear, THE DIRTY DOZEN. As with all of Santiago's films, this unexpectedly effective affair is shot in the Philippines, being the third of his efforts having a Vietnam setting, and not intended as a crude shocker, as are the prior pair, while nonetheless offering a great deal of screen time for stuntmen and demolition specialists. The film opens with United States Army Captain Rosello (Anthony Finetti) leading a platoon into an enemy village to destroy a munitions depot. This is explosively accomplished, although many U. S. casualties are a result. Since few return from this adventure, other troops refuse any association with Rosello, who is then reassigned to lead a squad made up of generally felonious scapegraces. Beneath his guidance, the men gradually begin to work as a team, in spite of the cinematically guaranteed mishmash that they are (Hispanic, negroid, bigot, doper, religious fanatic), the lattermost performed by Loren Haynes, who writes and sings the film's closing song. For the miscreant squad's initial mission, they are tasked with capturing a Viet Cong colonel, along with the destruction of a strategically significant bridge. Success with this assignment will sanction Rosello's aspirations to proficiency in leadership. However, it soon becomes clear that the squad is not yet functional as a closely-knit unit, and Rosello decides to take his charges into a local brothel in hopes of improving their general attitude. Unfortunately, while there, they become engaged in a drunken brawl with some Marines, resulting in their winding up in jail, from where they are released specifically in order to tackle their most dangerous duty assignment, involving recapture of the since-freed Viet Cong colonel, while at the same time rescuing several Army nurse hostages captured by the V.C. during as assault upon a U.S. military hospital. Naturally, none of this has any apparent basis in fact. A good deal of battle action is found here, characteristic of any Santiago film, and many players of his stock company are at hand, as virtually all of the cast have appeared in other Santiago movies. Additionally, stereotypes prevail among the characters. Perhaps Santiago's greatest strength as a director, well-constructed build-up sequences, merely lead here to his primary weakness, a failure to develop impact from these episodes. This film is, in sum, unpersuasive hokum from the bottom barrel of imagination. If a viewer will not be interested in seeing a superfluity of gunfights replete with many bullet squibs, and explosions, it would be better to spend one's time elsewhere. However, it should be noted that Santiago has refined his endeavours to the point that this work will garner one's attention throughout its 90 minute length. It can still be found upon a Media Home Entertainment VHS tape having good audio and visual quality, but is not available as a DVD and it is unlikely that it will be released in that format.

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