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Reviewed: The Expendables

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Snoop Dogg has his shades. Snooki has her poof. Terry Crews has his abs.

In an act of unbridled machismo, Crews popped his shirt off at the New York Stock Exchange last Thursday when he and the stars of The Expendables rang the opening bell.

Crews’ excitement accurately reflects all the hype surrounding The Expendables, Sylvester Stallone’s new $82 million film. Dolph Lundgren, Crews’ co-star, stood behind Crews looking handsome and moderately bored. The scene was an accurate representation of the film itself, all sizzle and no steak.

Compared to this summer’s super-blockbuster Inception, Stallone’s new action shoot-’em-up is so simple my 7-year-old cousin could’ve written it.

You get a bevy of over-the-hill action stars — Lundgren, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, and Eric Roberts — who are one fake gun fight away from a hip replacement. You also get Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis jabbing at one another with words.

The film’s script and cinematography are unoriginal. In the most interesting scene, Crews is filmed at a distance, down a cavernous hall, while he mows down bad guys with a big gun. The rest of the movie has the run of the mill car chases, shootouts, and stabbings common to the action genre. Nothing to e-mail home about but enough to write home about.

So what if Stallone looks like his face is falling off? He’s a 64-year-old juggernaut who suffered a hair line neck fracture while filming his own stunts. His heart and determination are an homage to the old school action movies I grew up with — the ones where actors put their lives on the line for a movie that had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning any awards.

The Expendables is great because it doesn’t require a fancy graph to understand. It is exactly the type of mind-numbing entertainment America needs during all this mosque madness and Wiki wackiness. Turn off your brains and spend some change on a film worth its weight in thick, veiny muscles.

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