Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Produced by Avi Lerner
Kevin King Templeton
Screenplay by Sylvester Stallone
Story by David Callaham
Starring Sylvester Stallone
Music by Brian Tyler
Cinematography Jeffrey Kimball
Editing by Ken Blackwell
Studio Nu Image
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date(s) August 13, 2010 (2010-08-13)
Running time 103 minutes
Country United States
Budget $82 million
Gross revenue $71,027,175
The Expendables is a 2010 American ensemble action-war film written by David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone, and directed by Stallone. Filming began on March 28, 2009, in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, and the film was released on August 13, 2010.
The film is about a group of elite mercenaries, tasked with a mission to overthrow a Latin American dictator. It pays tribute to the blockbuster action films of the 1980s and early 1990s, and stars an array of action veterans from those decades, including Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (the latter two in cameo roles), as well as more recent stars such as Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Steve Austin.
The film received mixed reviews from critics but was commercially successful, opening at number one at the U.S. box office.
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. With moral disagreements over hanging a pirate, Yang and Jensen fight with Ross intervening. As a result of his psychological problems, Ross reluctantly releases Jensen from the Expendables.
Ross and his rival mercenary leader Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger), go to see Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) who names himself after the church they meet in. He offers them a mission in Vilena, a fictional island in the Gulf of Mexico, to overthrow a brutal dictator, General Garza (David Zayas). Busy with other things, Trench gives the contract to Ross. Christmas visits his partner, Lacy (Charisma Carpenter), whom he discovers has left him for another man, Paul. Ross and Christmas do initial reconnaissance after meeting with their contact, Sandra (Gisele Itié), only for the mission to go awry. Ross learns that Garza is backed by ex-CIA agent James Munroe (Eric Roberts) and his henchmen Paine (Steve Austin) and Wickham (Gary Daniels), who manipulate and keep Garza in power by making his people fear him. Sandra is revealed to be Garza's daughter. Ross decides to abort and causes casualties among the army as they escape. Meanwhile, Jensen approaches Garza and Munroe to help their side.
Christmas visits Lacy again to find that Paul has beaten her. Christmas defeats Paul and his friends, showing Lacy what he does for a living and winning her over. Ross, Christmas, and Yang deduce that Mr. Church is a member of the CIA and that the real target is Munroe, as the CIA could not kill one of their own. Mission coordinator and former teammate, Tool (Mickey Rourke) makes an emotional revelation about his experience in the Bosnian War to Ross, where he let a woman commit suicide. Hearing this, Ross decides to go back for Sandra. Yang tags along, and they are chased on the road by Jensen in an intense shootout. The pursuit ends in an abandoned warehouse, where Yang and Jensen fight a second time. Jensen attempts to impale Yang on a pipe, only for Ross to shoot Jensen. A wounded Jensen makes amends and gives the layout of Garza's palace. Ross boards the plane with Yang and finds the rest of team, ready to aid their friend.
The Expendables infiltrate Garza's compound. Christmas, Yang, Caesar, and Toll plant explosive charges throughout the site. When Garza has a change of heart after hearing of the team's reputation, Munroe kills him. The entire team fights and shoots their way through Garza's soldiers. Ross and Caesar manage to destroy the helicopter Munroe was to escape on. Christmas and Yang manage to kill Wickham while Toll kills Paine. Ross and Christmas catch up to Munroe and kill him, saving Sandra. Instead of taking the payment for the mission, Ross gives it to Sandra to restore Vilena. The team celebrates their victory at Tool's tattoo parlor, with the reformed and recovering Jensen. Lee and Tool challenge each other to a game of knife throwing and Lee recites a poem about his respect for Tool, before throwing the knife perfectly in the center of the board.
Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross
Jason Statham as Lee Christmas
Jet Li as Yin Yang
Randy Couture as Toll Road
Dolph Lundgren as Gunnar Jensen
Terry Crews as Hale Caesar
Mickey Rourke as Tool
Eric Roberts as James Munroe
David Zayas as General Garza
Steve Austin as Dan Paine
Gary Daniels as The Brit
Gisele Itié as Sandra Garza
Charisma Carpenter as Lacy
Hank Amos as Paul
Amin Joseph and Senyo Amoaku as the leaders of a group of Somali pirates
Bruce Willis as Mr. Church
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Trench
Film production began on March 3, 2009, with a budget of $82 million.Filming commenced 25 days later in Rio de Janeiro and other locations in Brazil, including Mangaratiba, Niteroi, Guanabara Bay, Colônia Juliano Moreira and Parque Lage. Filming originally ended on April 25 but was continued on May 11, in Elmwood and New Orleans, Louisana, including the French Quarter, St. Peter Street, Fort Macomb, Claiborne Avenue and the Interstate 10 overpass. Filming officially ended on July 1, but on October 27 there was a pick-up scene at a church in Hollywood featuring Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis. On June 2, West Coast Customs Street Customs built three customized 1955 Ford F100s for Sylvester Stallone for the film. One was built for a crash scene, the second for green screen and the third for Stallone to keep. "The Expendables has a seventy million-dollar budget," says Stallone's co-star Dolph Lundgren, adding, "It's an old-school, kick-ass action movie where people are fighting with knives and shooting at each other."
In summer 2010, Brazilian company O2 Filmes released a statement saying it was still owed more than $2 million US for its work on the film.
Composer Brian Tyler announced on his official website that he had been hired to write original music for the film.Tyler previously worked with Stallone on Rambo in 2008.
The American hard rock band Shinedown contributed a brand new track, recorded specifically for the movie, which is also used in the theatrical trailer. The song, entitled "Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)", was released on June 15, 2010.One of the alternate trailers uses the song "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses.The song "The Boys Are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy also played in TV spots and is played over the credits.
The score for the film was released on August 10. The tracklists have been revealed.
All songs written and composed by Brian Tyler.