So I finally got to see The Expendables this past weekend.

If you need a summary or as what it’s about, this movie probably isn’t for you.

All you need to know about this movie to know whether you want to see it or not, is that Terry Crews uses a fully automatic shotgun.

It’s that kind of movie.

I had a total blast watching it. It’s stupid fun that does exactly what it says it will. A throwback to the 80’s action films where it was giant guys beating the crap out of each other and using totally ridiculous weapons to pound, cut, stab, decapitate, impale and otherwise inflict damage to others.

The plot is fairly basic for this type of film; mercenaries go to foreign local for a job, realize this is “more than a job” and have to overthrow evil dictator and traitorous government official.

What makes this fun is all these big action stars together on screen; many for the first time.

Watching Jet Li fight Dolph Lundgren or seeing Li and Statham (though these two have worked together twice before) double-team a bad guy is just giddy juvenile excitement for a child of such films as Rambo, Commando, Rocky, Predator, and the like.

There’s a cameo in it that is the worst kept secret ever; that of Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (holy cow, I spelled that right in one go). And yes, it’s awesome. If you didn’t grow up with these guys being the heroes on screen, you won’t care, but seeing the three biggest action stars on screen together, even for the VERY short time they are, bantering back and forth with “inside” jokes… well… I had a giant smile on my face for the whole scene.

What’s missing? Well, as far as story goes, it was a little by the numbers. Again, this was all I expected and what I got, so there’s nothing wrong with that. Aside from an unconventional detour to a conventional car-chase, it’s beat-for-beat an old-school action plot. So I would have liked to have seen a couple more twists, but by no means am I complaining.

There are a number of 80’s stars who are not in it, which I would have liked to have seen. According to interviews, Mr. Stallone did try to get these people and for various reasons, they weren’t available. The big three who are missing are Wesley Snipes (could not leave the country to film due to tax problems), Jean-Claude Van Damme (apparently he didn’t like the part written for him… I think he made a poor decision, but whatever) and Steven Segal (has issues with the producer, not Stallone).

Some other names that would have been interesting to see (but probably cost prohibitive): Jackie Chan, Kurt Russel, Dwayne Johnson and Vin Deisel. Even in cameos, if you got these guys, plus the before mentioned names, you’d pretty much have every A-list and former A-list action star in this film in some capacity.

I would have loved to have seen another book-end cameo at the end between Bruce, Arnold and Sly, but I can imagine the logistics of getting those three together would be a nightmare. Perhaps when Arnie is out of office.

With $82 million against a $70-80 million budget, the chances of a sequel are looking good at this point, so hopefully Sly can pull of an even stupider sequel.