By: John M Jerva
Welcome to the fourth installment of Firepower Fridays as we take a look at some of the most explosive, in your face, bullet filled action sequences in cinematic history!
I took a few weeks off for the Thanksgiving holiday but I’m back and ready to talk all things action. Back in 2009, action icon Sylvester Stallone assembled an elite action cast for one of the most anticipated action throwback films in recent memory. Stallone would bring together legends like Schwarzenegger, Willis and Lundgren and team them up with new blood like Jason Statham and Randy Couture for an action movie like no other. It was a true love letter from Sly to the fans who have watched the star who is best known for playing such iconic roles like Rocky and Rambo.
The film centered on an elite team of mercenaries who infiltrate a small country to take out the ruthless dictator holding the people in fear but instead discover that there is much more than meets the eye as a rogue CIA operative played by the always game Eric Roberts is the one truly pulling the strings. The movie was an adrenalized blend of both firepower and fisticuffs utilizing the ensemble cast of action cinema professionals and was a perfect throwback to the macho films of the 80’s and 90’s when these types of movies ruled the box office.
Upon its release, some felt that the movie fell short of what it was trying to do but it immediately became a favorite of mine as I looked past some of the shortcomings and enjoyed it for what it was… a gathering of action heavyweights in one solid, bloody and bullet filled testosterone laced flick. It is clearly one of the best men in a mission movies in my book.
The ending of the film is the theme of the day here and it is truly one of the highlights as the Mercs, who are cornered by an army of soldiers make their escape amidst a hell storm of bullets and explosions The theatrical release included the awesome score by Brian Tyler but Stallone’s Director’s Cut made the scene even better and more fist pumping by using the film’s song Diamond Eyes from the rock group Shinedown which was strangely missing from the theatrical cut. Something that Sly would fix in the later released director’s cut.
This scene is definitely a cut above the rest with Terry Crews’ bombastic automatic shotgun unloading over the top carnage to Stallone’s rapid fire pistols spitting out fast moving death to Statham taking out the competition with his deadly knives and lethal precision. The sequence just screams “hell yeah” and I’ve probably watched it thousands of times to this day and never get sick of it. We really get to see just how good these men are at their jobs as a few take down many. Coincidentally, I only watch the director’s cut as it enhances the film and gives us more of it.
The finale gives each and everyone of the stars a chance to shine and is an exhilarating action set piece which has just the right amount of firepower and even a little fisticuffs thrown in as Couture takes on Stone Cold Steve Austin on a true stripped down grudge match in an actual ring of fire.
Why talk anymore about the scene when we can watch it in all it’s glory in the video player below. So without further ado, I present the fiery finale from The Expendables! I have included both versions of the end so you can choose which one to enjoy and don’t forget, starting this month, we’re rotating between Firepower Fridays and Foot Fist Fridays so next week, it’s another scene of unarmed combat excellence as FFF returns!
STALLONE’S DIRECTOR’S CUT