Expendables 4 has established an undesirable record within the franchise, marking the lowest Rotten Tomatoes rating in the series to date.The movie, officially named ‘Expend4bles,’ released in theaters today (September 22), has garnered a mere 15% rating among critics on the website.
This rating falls significantly below half of its predecessor, ‘Expendables 3,’ which received a 31% rating. The initial and second installments earned ratings of 41% and 67%, respectively.Expendables 4 features familiar franchise actors Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture, alongside newcomers Megan Fox and rapper 50 Cent, who have joined the ensemble.
In the storyline, Barney Ross, played by Stallone, makes a comeback to lead his team on yet another perilous mission to rescue the world.
In this iteration, the team is tasked with thwarting the mercenary Suarto Rahmat (portrayed by Iko Uwais from ‘The Raid’), who is on a mission to acquire nuclear warheads on behalf of Ocelot, an enigmatic villain that Barney was unable to apprehend a quarter-century ago.
Here’s a selection of comments from critics:
“Expend4bles begins with a sluggish first hour, but the movie hits its groove in the action-packed final act, proving that the series truly shines when it fully embraces its adventurous spirit of enjoyment – particularly when Jason Statham leans into his Cockney charm.”
The AV Club
“It’s a vexing combination of opportunities left unseized and bewildering artistic choices. Mediocre in nearly every aspect, it might as well be called ‘The Disposables’ since it feels like a significant squandering of both time and talent.”
“Although slightly superior to Expendables 3, Expend4bles still comes across as better suited for character posters than as a film you’d willingly sit through. To rephrase the tagline, the blend of old and new characters results in wearisome blood.”
“Expend4bles possesses a faint grasp of your preferences but lacks the determination to ensure your enjoyment.”
“Surprisingly, the fourth installment in the elite mercenaries series doesn’t entirely feel superfluous in satisfying our entertainment cravings. It disarms us with its occasional effortless charm as much as it does with a powerful high-kick to the throat.”
If a fifth installment in the franchise does materialize, it will be without Sylvester Stallone.
In a behind-the-scenes video from 2021, after completing filming for the movie, Stallone remarked, “It’s time to move forward. Today marks my farewell, so I’m savoring the moment. It’s always bittersweet, you know, when it’s something you’ve been so deeply connected to. I guess it’s been around 12 years.”
“I’m prepared to hand over the reins to Jason [Statham] and his capable hands.”
Expendables 4 doesn’t entirely squander your time. Although the initial hour might leave you grumbling with boredom, the movie eventually brings everyone aboard a massive container ship, where most of the Expendables find themselves imprisoned while Jason Statham unleashes his signature moves throughout the vessel—rampaging, dispatching foes with brutal finesse, and cracking wise.
For roughly 20 minutes during this segment, the film hits its stride, delivering well-choreographed action. We witness Statham and Tony Jaa fighting side by side against a horde of adversaries.
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There’s a thrilling motorcycle chase—with guns mounted on the bikes—through the ship’s tight corridors, culminating in a stunt that evokes memories of Statham’s car flip from ‘Transporter 2.’ Lastly, we’re treated to an intense, five-minute one-on-one battle between Statham and Uwais, which lives up to expectations.