YMMV / The Expendables

  • Author's Saving Throw: Sylvester Stallone has said in interviews that he deliberately tries to cast guys who are either up-and-coming (Like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin) and give them a nudge, or he tried to cast guys who got derailed (like Dolph Lundgren) and hopes it gives them a second chance. He has said this is why he wanted Jean-Claude Van Damme and Wesley Snipes in the movie (he got them in the second and third, respectively), for example. He's also been trying to get roles for Michael Pare and Steven Seagal for upcoming installments.
  • Cliché Storm: The reason it exists. In this case, it's not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Complete Monster: Rogue CIA agent James Munroe is the Big Bad of the first film. A drug smuggler and mercenary, Munroe is responsible for his partner, General Garza, transforming the island of Vilena into a Police State, using the people as labor in their drug operation. During his first scene, Munroe kills one prisoner, then derides Garza for his lack of spine, forcing the General to murder a second prisoner in order to save face. When the Expendables raid Vilena, Munroe captures Garza's daughter, Sandra, who opposes her father's government, and has her waterboarded over Garza's objections. He contracts former Expendable, Gunnar, to kill the rest of the team, and when Garza turns on him following the Expendables' assault on Vilena, he shoots the General in the back, kills the rest of his security detail, and tries to make good his escape, though not before instructing Paine and The Brit to torture Barney Ross, and taking Sandra hostage to use as a Human Shield. Caring only for his profits, Munroe is willing to wreck an entire country in order to increase them.
  • Narm:
    • Also the close-up of Ross stabbing one of the mooks who were going to rape Sandra. Doubles as Special Effects Failure as the blood looks rather off in the shot and his knife kinda wobbles around unnaturally.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The console game. The Tower Defense webgame, not so much.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Trench and Church, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. The sequel gives them more screentime and action sequences. Also, Mickey Rourke, who has about 5 minutes of screen time yet gives arguably the best performance of the first film.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: The subplot of Lee's pining for Lacy and his bemoaning about being unable to get together with her because of his job as a mercenary which took up a good chunk of the first film.
  • So Cool, It's Awesome: The entire series. Considering the fact that they are the revival of the action movie genre, this is to be expected.
  • Special Effect Failure: The guard that Ross decapitated somehow managed to grow his head back between shots.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Many critics who didn't like the movie were nevertheless impressed by Mickey Rourke's performance and wondered what such a dedicated performance was doing in a "brain-dead action flick". Oddly enough, a lot of critics, in an odd version of this trope, were expecting slam-bang action all the way through, but complained about the overuse of CGI (which was not a staple in 80s movies), the too-modern Shaky Cam, and, most unexpectedly, it having too much plot.