Who's In It: Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Randy Couture, David Zayas, Giselle Itié, Charisma Carpenter
The Basics: Sly Stallone and his meaty man-forearms lead a team of middle-aged mercenaries who hang out and talk about old age and love in Mickey Rourke's tattoo shop when they're not busy rescuing hostages from Somalian pirates and invading small countries for money. When a comely South American general's daughter (Giselle Itié) stirs funny feelings in Sly's cold, veiny heart, he and his crew take on an evil ex-CIA spook (Eric Roberts) and an entire dictatorship's worth of soldiers to do the right thing… by exploding heads, slashing necks, and beating bad guys to a bloody pulp, the old fashioned way!
What's The Deal: If you love the beefy '80s and '90s action-fests from which Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and their muscled brethren sprang forth, then this might be your favorite movie of the year. No, Sly's not a great director; as a result The Expendables looks and feels a lot like every action movie you've ever seen, and has its fair share of painfully long monologues and cheesy moments to boot. But when it gets around to the righteous fightin' and killin' bits, The Expendables more than delivers on its promise to be the manliest movie ever made. After all, we all need a little testosterone injection in our lives, and we're not gonna get it from Julia Roberts or Michael Cera.
What Amounts To Character Development In The Expendables: Stallone goes on a suicide mission for a girl because she draws nice pictures of sad ladies, Jason Statham hospitalizes an entire basketball team for Charisma Carpenter, a remorseful dictator takes up painting to sooth his tortured conscience.
Cut To The Awesome: Exploding heads, exploding torsos, the elegant visual ballet that is five laser sights trained on a man's chest, mid-bloodbath bromantic banter, the stabbiest of stabby stabbings, copious knife throwing, big guns, martial arts, shoot-outs, UFC-style brawls, Statham's seaplane attack, Terry Crews saving the day, explosions galore, crumbling buildings, docks set aflame, slo-mo jumps aplenty, heads kicked off, an abundance of what one character calls "red sausage," and not one, but two Jet Li vs. Dolph Lundgren fights.
The Best And Most Heartbreaking Moments In The Manliest Movie Ever Made: When Sly, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger reunite for the first time since posing for those Planet Hollywood photo ops back in the day. Ahnold enters a church like a cigar-chomping angel, bathed in light, and then the three action icons trade barbs like it's some weird meta-movie roast. "He loves playing in the jungle," Arnie says of Sly. "He wants to be president," Sly says of Arnie. Later, the self-aware joking hits a poignant chord when Dolph pleads for his job: "I'm still good!" Sniff. It's just enough to make this action fan hope Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, and Jean-Claude Van Damme get their shot at kicking butt and taking names once more in The Expendables 2.