The Expendables is an action-packed movies from 2010, created by Sylvester Stallone. It’s a movie that includes some of the greatest action heroes of all time, and it’s simply a blast to watch. But with that being said, were the characters these badasses played any good? I guess it’s time to rank the 5 best characters of The Expendables!
5. James Munroe
Eric Roberts had a blast filming The Expendables, didn’t he? Whether it was the fun working environment or his nonchalant approach, Eric turns in a “so bad, it’s good” performance. In turn, his character, James Munroe, comes across like a caricature of 80s and 90s action movie villains. While that may be intentional, it doesn’t work. Simply put, it’s more of a comedy act than a serious portrayal of a believable villainous character. Therefore, he makes the list for being just “good enough”. That’s about it, as the character is anything but good.
What were they doing on that set? Dolph Lundgren falls into the same boat as Eric Roberts, as he wasn’t taking his role seriously either, making Gunner seem like he was written by an angry teenager. While that’s harsh, I’m not gonna hold back when writers don’t care to do their part. Thus, there are very few redeeming qualities to Gunner. He’s just the muscle of the group, the brute who spits out ridiculous one-liners and acts crazy, without any real reason.
Why is Gunner at number 4? Because he’s a bit more entertaining than Eric’s James Munroe. In turn, I’ll rank Dolph’s Gunner higher, but it’s literally a toss-up between these two. But both characters feel like caricatures, and make The Expendables feel bloated.
Say what you want about Mickey Rourke, but his portrayal of Tool is very convincing and also quite realistic. His way of conveying emotions and deliverling lines is near perfect. Best of all, he’s not overplaying his hand, as he’s perfectly in the pocket, doing what he must with a good amount of comfort. Therefore, he fits into The Expendables and is one of the most memorable characters in the movie!
While Tool is a good character, he can be somewhat unpredictable, in an unscripted way. But this could be intentional? However, considering Mickey Rourke’s past, it’s more likely that he wants to do things his own way, which isn’t always right for the character. Therefore I found some things to be very random and unnecessary. It’s as if Mickey Rourke combined with the character, rather that embodying the character of Tool altogether. However, let’s not forget about Tool’s excellent monologue, which shows exactly how well he gets into character when need be!
2. Barney Ross
Sylvester Stallone portrays Barney Ross in a mature way, making the character feel relatable in his personal struggles, while having a distinctive hardened personality. While Barney Ross isn’t particularly well-written, he’s well-acted, with Sly delivering some effective speeches and nice emotional scenes. Therefore, Barney Ross feels very genuine to what Sly wanted to play, and that comes as no surprise, as he created The Expendables.
With all due respect to Sylvester Stallone, Barney Ross isn’t gonna win him many new fans. In all fairness, Barney Ross isn’t one of Sly’s better characters, but considering the lack of quality characters in this film, I’m forced to rank some high and some low. Thus, Barney earns himself the number 2 spot on my list of the best characters from The Expendables!
While Sly’s Barney Ross might’ve been the lead character, Jason Statham‘s Lee Christmas was the star of The Expendables.
All things considered, Lee Christmas is a well-written action movie character. He’s simply the most “human” character in The Expendables, as we actually see him being vulnerable and not be in control. Whether he’s dealing with his personal life and his girlfriend or trying to manage the emotions of Barney Ross and deal with his questionable decision making, Lee Christmas is only in control when he’s fighting. But everything around him is chaotic, showing how strong he is mentally, and how grounded he is as a person. Thus, he’s the most relatable character in The Expendables.
Jason Statham delivers when it comes to action scenes, but that’s to be expected, right? He’s always reliable when it comes to kicking butt and taking names, and in this movie, it’s no different. So with that being said, I crown Lee Christmas as the best character in The Expendables!