"YOU GUYS AREN'T GONNA START suckin' each other's dicks, are ya?" Bruce Willis says to Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the most ballyhooed scene in The Expendables. The scene in question lasts all of 15 semi-awkward, semi-awesome seconds, but Willis' line nicely sums up The Expendables' giddy, eager manliness. This is, after all, a film that also features a shirtless, bored Stallone reclining on a motorcycle as he gets a tattoo from Mickey Rourke.
The Expendables crams in a few other legit action stars too—Jason Statham, Jet Li—along with a who's who of other has-beens and never-beens: Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture. It's like Ocean's 11: Only Dumber, as Stallone, et al., head to some Central American country to kill a bunch of bad guys. There are highlights—seeing the lithe Li fight the drooling homunculus Lundgren; pondering the philosophy of never using one bullet when 12 will do; basking in the vibrant glow of one billion explosions—but despite all of its leathery faces, The Expendables only occasionally captures the balls-out, testosterone-drenched goofiness of '80s action flicks. (And sometimes—as when a character played by convicted spousal abuser Steve Austin punches a damsel in distress in the face—it feels dumb and outdated in all the worst ways.) Still, anyone coming away disappointed or surprised with what The Expendables offers might need to reexamine their expectations of action cinema.