The Expendables (2010) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A CIA operative hires a team of mercenaries to eliminate a Latin dictator and a renegade CIA agent.

  • Barney Ross leads the "Expendables", a band of highly skilled mercenaries including knife enthusiast Lee Christmas, martial arts expert Yin Yang, heavy weapons specialist Hale Caesar, demolitionist Toll Road and loose-cannon sniper Gunner Jensen. When the group is commissioned by the mysterious Mr. Church to assassinate the merciless dictator of a small South American island, Barney and Lee head to the remote locale to scout out their opposition. Once there, they meet with local rebel Sandra and discover the true nature of the conflict engulfing the city. When they escape the island and Sandra stays behind, Ross must choose to either walk away and save his own life - or attempt a suicidal rescue mission that might just save his soul.

  • After a successful assignment to save hostages from pirates in Somalia, Barney Ross and his team of mercenaries, the "Expendables" are invited by Mr. Church to kill the corrupt General Garza, who is the dictator of the Vilena Island in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Church offers 5 million dollars and Barney travels with his partner Lee Christmas in their plane to Vilena to meet their local contact, Sandra. They have an incident with one troop and they flee from the island, but Sandra refuses to leave her country and is left behind. They investigate and discover that Church is actually from CIA, that wants them to do the dirty work to destroy the powerful drug dealer and rogue FBI agent James Munroe, who is using the island to grow coke. But Barney also feels divided between staying safe in USA or risky his life to save Sandra and his own soul.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A group of elite mercenaries, the Expendables, are deployed to the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia to halt local pirates from executing the hostages. The team consists of leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), former SAS soldier and blades specialist Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), martial artist Yin Yang (Jet Li), sniper Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and demolitions expert Toll Road (Randy Couture). Jensen instigates a firefight, causing casualties for the pirates. Yang and Jensen fight over moral disagreements about hanging a pirate. Ross intervenes and fights with Jensen. As a result of his psychological problems, Ross reluctantly dismisses Jensen from the Expendables team.

    Ross and a rival mercenary Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger), meet Mr. Church (Bruce Willis). He offers them a contract to overthrow a brutal dictator, General Garza (David Zayas), on Vilena, a fictional island in the Gulf of Mexico. Busy with other things, Trench tells Church to give the contract to Ross. Christmas visits his girlfriend, Lacy (Charisma Carpenter), whom he discovers has left him for another man named Paul. On Vilena, Ross and Christmas meet a local contact, Sandra (Gisele Itié), and drive to the vicinity of Garza's compound to look the situation over. A truckload of Garza's soldiers suddenly appear. When one of them grabs Sandra, he calls her the "General's daughter." He drags her to their truck, but before he can take her Ross and Christmas kill them all. Ross learns that Garza is backed by ex-CIA agent James Munroe (Eric Roberts) and his henchmen Paine (Steve Austin) and The Brit (Gary Daniels), who manipulate and keep Garza in power by making his people fear him. Ross decides to abort the mission and make their escape, but they return and attack Garza's men on a pier, killing 41 of them. Jensen, offended at having been fired by Ross, approaches Garza and Munroe and hires on to help them.

    Christmas visits Lacy again to find that her new boyfriend Paul has beaten her. Christmas easily beats Paul and several friends in an unfair fight, showing Lacy what he does for a living, and she leaves with him. Ross, Christmas, and Yang deduce that Mr. Church is with the CIA and that the real target is Munroe, as the CIA is unable to control him. Mission coordinator and former teammate Tool (Mickey Rourke) makes an emotional confession to Ross about letting a woman commit suicide during the Bosnian War and how it damaged his soul. Sandra is captured by Munroe's men who waterboard her in an attempt to learn what the Americans had been doing on the island.

    Ross decides to go back for Sandra. Yang insists that he come along. As they leave, they are ambushed and chased by Jensen and others during an intense gunfight and car chase. The pursuit leads to an abandoned warehouse where Yang and Jensen fight a second time. Jensen attempts to impale Yang on a pipe and after an intense fight, Ross retrieves a weapon from his truck and shoots Jensen. Jensen, severely wounded, apologizes and tells him about the layout of Garza's palace. Ross boards the plane with Yang and finds the rest of the team is also on board, ready to aid their friend.

    The Expendables infiltrate Garza's compound. Christmas, Yang, Caesar, and Toll plant explosive charges throughout the site, including the storage area full of drugs. The Expendables team fights and shoots its way through Garza's compound and dozens of soldiers. Ross rescues Sandra as she is about to be sexually assaulted by two of Munroe's men, killing them both, but they are both captured by more of Munroe's men, who beat him. He's rescued by Yang and Christmas, assisted by Caesar and other members of the team. After Garza sees Munroe torture his daughter, he changes his mind.

    They are cornered by dozens of Garza's soldiers. Garza calls out to them to remove the American disease, referring to Munroe as well as the Expendables. Munroe kills Garza. In desperation, Ross blows the charges inside the palace, destroying it and disrupting the attack. They attack dozens of soldiers throughout the compound, destroying them with all the weapons at their disposal: Noveske Rifleworks Diplomat assault rifles, AA-12 12 gauge automatic shotgun firing FRAG-12 explosive rounds, Beretta pistols, knives, and M67 hand grenades.

    Christmas and Yang kill The Brit and Toll kills Paine. Ross and Caesar destroy the helicopter Munroe, with Sandra in tow as a hostage, was set to escape in. Ross and Christmas fight Munroe and kill him, saving Sandra. Instead of taking payment for the mission, Ross gives it to Sandra to restore the village of Vilena. The team celebrates their victory at Tool's tattoo parlor, with the reformed and recovering Jensen. Christmas and Tool challenge each other to a game of knife throwing and Christmas recites a poem about his respect for Tool, before throwing the knife perfectly in the center of the board.

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