The catch is that he will need to place Church’s operative on his team, Chinese tech expert Maggie (Yu Nan).
Since the Expendables are an all-male crew, the addition of a woman almost immediately throws group dynamics out of kilter.
Working with a fairly routine action-adventure scenario, the filmmakers can leave the cast to adequately fill out their roles.
Since many of the leads have well-known personas from past films and franchises, performances are a blend of action-hero impassivity and sendups of familiar characters.
While he’s every bit as creaky as the other vets his age, relying more on very large weapons and cutting humor than unarmed combat, Schwarzenegger still can steal a scene, particularly in the final set piece where he’s paired with Willis, who relies more on smirking threats than decisive action until the final reel.
Pyrotechnic and special effects credits are superior on a reasonable budget, and though the soundtrack would have benefited from a higher ratio of contemporary hits to familiar classics, Brian Tyler’s score carries the action without overwhelming it.