Directed by: Cirio H. Santiago
Starring: Anthony Finetti, Peter Nelson, Vic Diaz and Nick Nicholson
“I’m a cool dude because nothing rests on me.”
Back in ‘Nam, Captain Rosello (Finetti) is assigned a rag-tag bunch of misfits to take under his command. Under Rosello’s leadership, they become “The Expendables”, soldiers specifically meant to take on dirty and extremely dangerous missions. These include capturing a V.C. Colonel (Diaz) and saving nurses that have been taken hostage. Will these men accomplish their difficult missions - and will they be able to get along with each other long enough to survive? Find out today!
Man, look at the cast for this one...Stallone, Statham, Dolph, Gary Daniels, the list goes on and on! Wait a minute...you mean in 1988 there was a movie called The Expendables...and it’s a CIRIO SANTIAGO movie? Wow, who knew Cirio was so ahead of his time? Well, this Expendables may not have the starpower of the newer one, but it does have Anthony Finetti. So take that. It also has Nick Nicholson in a tiny cameo role and the ever-present Vic Diaz. So this outing can obviously hold its own. Well, maybe not.
What we have here is your typical jungle/exploding hut/helicopter/machine gun fire movie. Cirio has made more of these than most other directors, and this does have all the standard cliches, such as the barfight, the religious soldier, and of course the ragtag team. This is a standard-issue movie. It’s not great, it’s not bad, it just kind of floats somewhere in the middle.
The movie has enough little moments to keep it afloat, but it doesn’t really distinguish itself in any significant way. It doesn’t have a forceful drive and energy moving it forward. Special mention should go to Peter Nelson, the actor who played Sterling. He did a good job and managed to stand out a bit. He obviously couldn’t get enough of the jungles of the Philippines so he returned for Cirio’s Eye of the Eagle III (1989). Anthony Finetti could have had a long career making movies like this, but it seems he did not. It’s a shame, he could have been the next Tony Marsina.
If we were to rate this on a scale from one to ten, it would be a five. This is what you might call a “neutral” movie, something that’s not one thing or another. Hence, while we can’t wholeheartedly recommend it, we shouldn’t say to totally avoid it either. Cirio has done both better and worse movies, so The Expendables will have to be something of a midway point in his career.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty