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Not as exciting as it could have been but thankfully also not as trashy, the
expendables in "The Expendables" are a group of convicts serving either life
sentences or awaiting execution who a soon-to-retire colonel (Brett Cullen)
is ordered to whip into shape to carry out a dangerous mission: to rescue a
Cuban-American Presidential advisor who's been captured on a mission and
thrown in prison - and since she's being held in a women's prison, the
convicts sent to rescue her (amnesty if they survive, killed in action
otherwise) are women.
Made for cable TV ("This isn't cable TV," the colonel tells one of the convicts at one point), the tale does walk a tightrope between being an action movie and territory closer to Lifetime (they don't actually get to the prison until the movie's third act); most of the prisoners who get some kind of development turn out, of course, to have some kind of circumstances that redeem them in the eyes of the plot - though one, thankfully, doesn't (I won't reveal which one because it would blow the climax) - but on the upside the lack of Big Names in the cast mean it's not easy to guess who'll make it to the "Country of first publication: United States of America" info, and the tale's played thankfully straight with no winking to the audience...well, there is that "cable TV" joke...and a lack of gratuitous nudity. (In the case of Tempestt Bledsoe - doing more acting here than on "The Cosby Show" - this may be just as well.)
Anyone expecting non-stop blistering action may be disappointed, but you could do worse.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Its the same basic plot as the Dirty Dozens(I loved the Original movie) in
that prisoners are used in a "suicide" mission. But this movie isn't on
same level IMO(hey its a tv movie). However the movie was very fun for me
spoilers: I liked the action, and the actresses...but I kind wish Tempestt Bledsoe(forever known as Vanessa) could have be factored in at the end of the movie at least let her kill some Bad Guys. I also was hoping for the man who led the mission to leave alive
Overall, I was drawn to Idalis'(ok its partly because shes beautiful) character, the action scenes...and the overall premise, hell I like almost every action movie(guns, and explosions). It was "Dirty Dozens Light" with females. I hope there is at least a sequel..another spoiler coming up: 3 of the women are shown exiting the cemetary(Cullen's characters funeral) all going in separate directions...maybe they could link up in a sequel and blow up more stuff and kill some more people....well maybe not.
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