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The Expendables: Truth in advertising

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The Truth In Advertising award for the summer of 2010 goes to The Expendables, which employs (however unintentionally) its own title to push the fact that this is a disposable action film that will dissipate from memory almost immediately. Its primary — make that only — selling point is its large cast of macho action stars.

But the truth only goes as far as the marquee. As the leader of a group of mercenar ies hired to take down a South American dictator, Sylvester Stallone is almost always front and center, but those expecting him to share significant screen time with fellow Big Boys Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger will be disappointed that the other two are only in one scene. And really, is it that big a deal to have a cast that includes Steve Austin, Randy Couture and Terry Crews? These guys would line up for a straight-to-DVD American Pie sequel if asked.

Nobody goes to this type of movie for the acting, but given the lack of excitement in most of the action scenes (more mano-a-mano skirmishes would have better served the film rather than the ceaseless gunfire and explosions), there's little else to discuss. Faring best are Jason Statham as Stallone's right-hand man — the actor's natural charisma counts for a lot in the midst of all these stone faces — and Mickey Rourke in a nicely understated turn as a former member of Stallone's squad. Delivering the worst performance is Dolph Lundgren, who apparently hasn't learned a single thing after 25 years in the business.

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