Let’s start by identifying the genre here: This is a combat action film. Specifically, this is a cheesy combat action film aimed at guys who just want to see stuff blow up and bad guys go splat.
There’s a plot to this film, I think. It was a generic get the bad guy plot. The fact that the bad guy has his own private army just means we get more bad guys getting splattered by the good-guy team of mercenary commandos.
The Expendables, led by Sylvester Stallone’s Barney, are a team made up of ex-soldiers played by aging actors, except for the new-guy sniper (played by Thor, aka Chris Hemsworth’s little brother Liam) with dreams of early retirement and hopes to sail off to France in that new boat. There’s also the EEO girl thrown on the team by their employer. None of that matters much. We’re not really concerned with the characters. There’s a hint of character development, but only a hint.
The point of this movie is to take the action stars we all grew up with and throw them into a movie together where they all act in their stereotypical roles shooting guns and splattering bad guys. This is rated R for the splattery violence.
There are several Deus Ex Machina moments, which kill any hopes of taking the plot seriously, but, as I said, the plot is not important when we get Bruce and Arnold driving a door-less Smart Car through an army of bad guys, shooting their machine guns with one hand.
And they stick in some signature one-liners and homages to the characters these people have played over the years. You’ll hear “I’ll be back” and “Yippie-Ki-A” and a classic meme Chuck Norris joke, among others.
So, if you’re the type that likes the kind of movie I just described, this is the kind of movie you’ll love.