Expend4bles 4K Review: Jason Statham-Led Action Movie Comes Home

3 minutes, 19 seconds Read

Expend4bles (or The Expendables 4 if you’re less fun) felt a bit out of place when it was released earlier this year. Sylvester Stallone took a backseat, allowing Jason Statham to eat up the bulk of the screentime. The newcomers to the cast — led by “50 Cent,” Megan Fox, and Andy Garcia — were fun but lacked a bit of star power for the series, which has boasted every action legend from Mel Gibson and “JCVD” to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris. However, revisiting the movie with expectations set appropriately reveals an action film that delivers a fun, popcorn-worthy affair even if it doesn’t feel as big as its predecessors.

Expend4bles 4K Review: Jason Statham-Led Action Movie Comes Home

“A new generation of stars is added to the adrenaline-fueled adventure of The Expendables as action legends Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture are joined for the first time by Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, and Andy Garcia,” says the synopsis. “As the highly skilled mercenaries take on an arms dealer and his private army with every weapon they can get their hands on, the new recruits bring daring styles and tactics that give ‘new blood’ a whole new meaning.”

As noted, this is more of a Statham movie with some recognizable co-stars rather than the full-on star-filled ensemble films that previous entries were. A lot of the film takes place on a ship, which isn’t the most interesting locale, and keeps the action locked to one location. It’s a bit smaller in scope, but that isn’t totally a bad thing as Statham is up for the task, and there are some interesting scenes dealing with the new group dynamic after Stallone exits the main story early on.

The Expend4bles 4K UHD Blu-ray Giveaway - Slant Magazine

Some of the CGI isn’t great, and the film lacks a lot of the bigger set pieces that The Expendables 2 and 3 excelled at. However, there are two additions that really make this a fun movie — Iko Uwais and Tony Jaa. Both action movie veterans deliver some great fights throughout the back half of the movie, with Statham vs. Uwais being particularly fun. Fox is also good in a supporting role, with her chemistry really working well opposite Statham, and I wouldn’t be against seeing another adventure with the group, although the disappointing box-office returns don’t make it very likely.

There are two substantial and well-edited featurettes on the home release. The 17-minute “Bigger, Bolder, Badder: The Expendables In Action” takes a look at how some of the action scenes were done and features good interviews with the production staff. Particularly cool to see is how the motorcycle stunt on the ship was done, as they wanted a practical approach. Clocking in at 19 minutes is “More Than A Team: New Blood Meets Old Blood,” which focuses on the cast being a mixture of fresh faces and returning veterans. It gives a fun look at Stallone’s process while also including some insight from the actors

The real highlight of the 4K is the audio commentary by director Scott Waugh. He winds up being quite forthcoming throughout the commentary, discussing some production issues and how certain elements came together late or on the fly. Waugh’s passion also shines through, and it makes for a really interesting watch to see how the team approached the sequel. Whether you found it underwhelming or a fun extension of The Expendables, the commentary is worth checking out and will give you an added appreciation for what’s here.

EXPENDABLES 4 Trailer (4K ULTRA HD) NEW 2023 | Expend4bles - YouTube

Expend4bles 4K Review: The Final Verdict

The Expend4bles 4K release completes the series — for now, at least — and delivers some solid action and quite a few laughs. While it isn’t quite as star-filled as past films, the hand-to-hand action between Statham, Iwais, and Jaa really comes through and is some of the series’ best. The commentary and featurettes are all worth watching, adding some additional value to a film that is sure to appeal to action fans.


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