Expendables 4

Much like most of its core cast, with Expendables 4 (aka Expend4bles) the franchise is nearing death.
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Megan Fox
Scott Waugh
Not Yet Rated
Action, Adventure, Thriller
Release date
September 22, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Rating Summary
Poorly paced with underwhelming action and effects, and a cast that seems half asleep, Expendables 4 (or for SEO purposes, Expend4bles) isn't worth the price of admission. Wait until it's streaming for free.

With the disappointing box office returns of Expendables 3, and the internal strife between Stallone and the producers leading up to this film, Expendables 4, or Expen4bles, just might be the last of the core franchise. Of course, an all-female spin-off series is reportedly in the works.

Expendables 4 – Expend4bles

Here’s the plot: A bad guy gets a nuke, and The Expendables blow stuff up, shoot, and stab their way to saving the day.

No one who sees an Expendables movie expects Lawrence of Arabia. They want fun one-liners, cool guns, brutal and creative fight scenes, and big explosions, and Expendables 4 has a couple of those once or twice. Unfortunately, the chemistry between the team is flat, the characters are boring, the pacing is just barely serviceable, the one-liners are forced and not at all funny, and the fighting is mundane for an action flick of this type.

Frankly, Expendables 4 offers nothing original or even over the top enough to keep viewers from scrolling through X throughout its hour and forty-three-minute runtime.

Most of the action centers on Jason Statham’s Lee Christmas, and while in films as recent as The Meg 2, we were praising his signature fighting prowess, in Expendables 4, Statham’s fight scenes seem slowed down to Ahsoka 3/4 speeds.

Combine that with Stallone, Lundgren, and even Randy Couture being too old to engage in virtually any of the film’s action, and this installment of The Expendables feels more like The Dependables (like adult diapers – get it?).

Even Megan Fox (not yet 40), best known for her arched back in Transformers, has traded in the luster that made her famous for the artificial and waxy pre-cat lady look to which so many aging starlets graduate (painfully looking at you, Courtney Cox). That said, she does offer what is the only thing this film has in the way of a standout performance when she very believably portrays a completely unreasonable and unhinged sniping girlfriend who only gets away with talking to a man the way she does because she knows that he’s not going to hit her.

megan fox transformers expendables 4
Megan Fox, in her career-defining hammer thumb (look it up) defying Transformers scene

Emblematic of the lackluster action, in one “key” action scene, Statham’s Christmas hops on a dirt bike fitted with machine guns (a perfectly acceptable over-the-top and ridiculous idea). He then proceeds on a merry chase as several other machine gun dirt bike riders tale after him. Sounds like the makings of a fun and silly sequence, right? The problem is that the entire chase takes place in the short and narrow corridors of a cargo ship, so the bikes are never able to go over 10 mph, and any time they begin to pick up speed, the riders have to slow down to a virtual stop to make a 90° turn.

Sadly, with mediocre special effects and a twist with all the curves of an arrow, Expend4bles is a meh burger on barely passable toast. When this chapter joins its brothers on Netflix, Tubi, etc., it might be worth putting on as background noise, but not much else.


  • Megan Fox and some other actress whose character’s name I forgot before it was said are artificially inserted into the movie for a single reason, and it’s not because either seems like a physical threat or has any command presence. Instead, it is to plant the seeds for an all-female spin-off series.



James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.


  • DonH

    September 22, 2023 at 8:07 pm

    5 out of 5

    Remember the spin off of Ocean’s 11? Neither do I! The death of Expendables in deed.


  • DonH

    September 22, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    5 out of 5

    Remember the women’s spinoff of Ocean’s 11?
    Neither do I!


  • Neil Williams

    September 23, 2023 at 6:17 am

    5 out of 5

    When my son dragged me along to see this I wasn’t expecting much. The film was even worse than I had imagined. With a farcical plot, poorly done cgi and cheesy dialogue it was a film lovers worst nightmare come true, offering the genre nothing new, it’s one best avoided.


  • Scott

    September 23, 2023 at 11:18 am

    5 out of 5

    Fights, blood, explosions. It had what it needed and what you would expect. Don’t need much of a plot for something like this. It had some cheesy effects but i wont get worked up over it. The first two were better and this one didnt have as much star power. But it worked it was fun, it was what you expect.
    The women weren’t too obnoxiously grrrl powered, better than Ronda Rousey in 3. But whatever female expendables that might happen I wont be watching.


  • Austin

    September 24, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    2 out of 5

    The cast barely ever made me feel anything in their deliveries. The only ones who had moments of pathos that made me feel something as a human being were Tony Jaa and Jacob Scipio. I did think Randy Couture did actually feel pretty at ease and natural in his role. I don’t get it. I know Sly has better performances in him than this.

    The fight choreography was good, but everything was filmed too close to the actors. That, along with too much cutting for my taste (not Taken 3 levels of bad, but still), once again left me not feeling much.

    At least the film had plenty of beautiful women they didn’t protect from the “male gaze”? lol when Megan Fox walks in in that last scene with a white shirt and her nipples fully on display. That was pretty funny 😂 (I’m not advocating lust, but at least the film acknowledged beauty and let us look at pretty people.)

    Just really meh. Extraction with levity this is not.


  • Foxy Cleopatra

    September 26, 2023 at 6:33 am

    2 out of 5

    I think Stallone, like bruce willis was doing, is just cramming as much easy money films in as they get older and know they wont last, its sad films are all about the money these days. Hate that megan fox is in this film. The way she has asbued her children mentally.



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