The Expendables is a 2010 American action film written by David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone, and directed by Stallone, who also starred in the lead role. The film co-stars Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Steve Austin and Mickey Rourke. The film was released in the United States on August 13, 2010. It is the first installment in The Expendables film series. This was Dolph Lundgren’s first theatrically released film since 1995’s cyberpunk film Johnny Mnemonic.
The film is about a group of elite mercenaries tasked with a mission to overthrow a Latin American dictator whom they soon discover to be a mere puppet controlled by a corrupt ex-CIA agent. It pays tribute to the blockbuster action films of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was distributed by Lionsgate.
The Expendables received mixed reviews, praising the action scenes, but criticizing the lack of story. However, it was commercially successful, opening at number one at the box office in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and India, and grossed a total of $274 million worldwide. A sequel, The Expendables 2, was released on August 17, 2012, and another sequel, The Expendables 3, was released on August 15, 2014.
The Expendables, a group of elite mercenaries based in New Orleans, deploy to the Gulf of Aden to save hostages on a vessel from Somali pirates. The team consists of leader Barney Ross, blades specialist Lee Christmas, martial artist Yin Yang, military veteran Gunner Jensen, weapons specialist Hale Caesar, and demolitions expert Toll Road. Jensen instigates a firefight, causing casualties for the pirates. He then tries to hang a pirate, but Yang stops him when Ross and the team discourage it. Ross reluctantly discharges him from the team. Later, Christmas is upset to discover his girlfriend, Lacy, has left him for another man.
Ross and rival Trench Mauser visit “Mr. Church” for a mission. Trench passes the contract to Ross, which is to overthrow dictator General Garza in Vilena, an island in the Gulf of Mexico. Ross and Christmas fly to Vilena for undercover reconnaissance and meet their contact, Sandra, but are discovered. It is revealed that ex-CIA officer James Munroe is keeping Garza in power as a figurehead for his own profiteering operations, while Sandra is revealed to be Garza’s daughter. Ross aborts, but Sandra refuses to leave Vilena. Meanwhile, Jensen approaches Munroe to help and Garza is angered further when Sandra is waterboarded for information by Munroe. Meanwhile, Lacy has been physically abused by her new man, so Christmas beats him and his friends, revealing what he does for a living.