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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Expendables can be found here.
When Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), the leader of an elite mercenary team called "The Expendables", is offered a job by CIA operative Mr Church (Bruce Willis) to assassinate General Garza (David Zayas), a corrupt dictator in Vilena, an island in the Gulf of Mexico, Ross and his knife specialist Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) scout out the island and learn that their real target is rogue FBI agent James Munroe (Eric Roberts), who is keeping Garza in power as a figurehead in order to fund his drug trade. Consequently, Ross refuses the job. When Munroe takes Garza's daughter Sandra (Giselle Itié) hostage, however, Ross must decide whether to return safely to the U.S. or to go back to Vilena and save her. He and the rest of his team—marital arts expert Yin Yang (Jet Li), weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), and demolitionist Toll Road (Randy Couture)—decide to go back ...at the risk of their own lives.
The Expendables is a tribute movie to action/war films from the 1980s and early '90s. Directed by Sylvester Stallone, it features among its cast Stallone and cameos of other actors from such movies, such as Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwartznegger, and Mickey Rourke. The screenplay was written by Stallone and screenwriter Dave Callaham. A comic book prequel, written by American comic book writer Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Esteve Polls, was released in May 2010. The Expendables was followed by The Expendables 2 (2012) and The Expendables 3 (2014). The Expendables 4 is in the works, with a release date set for 2018.
The Expendables fly a Grumman HU-16 Albatross. It has a black paint job with the Expendables logo, a black hawk on a globe, and the name Global Wildlife Conservancy written on it.
Munroe kills Garza, he and henchman Paine (Steve Austin) take Sandra hostage, and the fighting starts up again. Ross blows the charges inside the palace, destroying the entire compound. In the fracas that follows, Christmas and Yang kill The Brit (Gary Daniels), and Toll kills Paine by burning him alive. Ross and Caesar destroy the helicopter before Munroe can escape. Munroe shoots Ross in the shoulder, but Ross and Christmas kill Munroe while Ross explains that he came back only to rescue Sandra. Later, as the team prepares to leave Vilena, Ross gifts his mission payment to Sandra so that she can start rebuilding the island. Back home again, the team celebrates their victory at Tool's tattoo parlor along with team sniper Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), recovering from the gunshot to his back. Christmas and Tool (Mickey Rourke) play a game of knife throwing. In the final scene, Christmas composes a poem for Tool, then turns around and perfectly hits the bullseye.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the film as a cameo appearance, he was not paid, and he was only on set for about 6 hours total. The scenes with Schwarzenegger were shot in a studio at night, so the governor was not filming during his political working time.
Yes, during its theatrical run Stallone announced via Twitter that he was working on an Extended Cut of his movie, like he did with Rambo. So far this Extended Cut has only been available for a limited number of customers of the Video On Demand services, such as AT&T U-Verse, Comcast or EpixHD in the United States but will be released in late 2011 on Blu-ray. In total the Extended Cut is approx. 10 minutes longer than the well-known Theatrical Version and features more than 200 changes and especially several characters got more screen time and their actions are now a bit more credible. Especially Dolph Lundgren's character profits from these changes and in conclusion one can say that the Extended Cut is probably a better version than the Theatrical Version and a must for all fans of this movie. A very detailed comparison, split in two parts, between both cuts with pictures can be found here (part 1) and here (part 2).
One shot had to be removed, showing a hero sadistically twisting a knife into a guard's neck, in order to obtain a "15" classification. The cut was made in accordance with Guidelines and policy of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). An uncut "18" classification was available. Only the Blu-ray disc version features the uncensored 18-classified cut. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.
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