Does The Action Sequel Deliver?



  • Critics have unleashed their reviews for The Expendables 4, calling it unexciting, disappointing, and maybe the worst entry in the franchise.
  • Many reviewers criticize the film’s cheap-looking CGI and poorly executed fight scenes, which waste martial artists like Iko Uwais and Tony Jaa.
  • The movie is said to lack the fun, cheesy elements that the earlier installments had, with the new cast also proving disappointing.



The Expendables 4‘s reviews have now been revealed, with critics sharing their honest thoughts on director Scott Waugh’s new sequel. After three previous outings, the titular mercenary team is back once more, this time embarking on a mission to stop World War III. Sylvester Stallone returns as Barney Ross in a reduced role, with Jason Statham’s Lee Christmas taking center stage in a movie filled with familiar faces and new cast members.

Now, on The Expendables 4‘s wide release day, reviews for the film are in, and critics aren’t holding back. Chase Hutchinson of Collider dubs it a “largely dull and dreary experience that never feels like it is ever anything more than a hollow mimicry of far better action works of the past.” Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter expresses that The Expendables 4‘s cast is wasted, with martial artists like Iko Uwais and Tony Jaa participating in “short, unexciting fight scenes so clumsily filmed and choppily edited they might as well be featuring Carrot Top and Yakov Smirnoff.

Why The Expendables 4’s Reviews Are So Negative

Sylvester Stallone in military gear in Expendables 4

David Jenkins of Little White Lies criticizes just how cheap and low-effort The Expendables 4 feels, writing that the movie is “like an exercise not in how a film can entertain an audience, but what it can get away with in terms of cutting creative corners (and, one imagines, costs).” Simon Thompson of IGN echoes this same sentiment about the film’s artificiality, calling out the terrible CGI and green screen, writing that the movie “looks and feels so cheap and inauthentic that it didn’t so much take me out of the movie as it virtually pushed me out.

Ian Freer’s review for Empire says the movie is marginally better than The Expendables 3 but still mostly bad, writing that “there are surprises you’ll see coming a mile off and the whole thing is marred by a lack of pace, invention and brio.” Ian Sandwell of Digital Spy criticizes the movie’s lack of fun compared to earlier installments, saying: “It’s almost as if Expend4bles, at this stage, thinks it’s a serious, gritty action movie rather than the cheesy action star team-up that the first two movies revelled in.

The Independents review from Clarisse Loughrey is similarly negative, saying that the movie is “missing the crossover of veteran action stars that was supposedly the entire point of these things.” Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian echoes a common sentiment that Statham, while underused, is generally a highlight of the movie, writing: “As ever, the guys are texting it in – or most of them, as Statham always looks as if he could handle some comic dialogue (or any sort of dialogue) if he was given the chance.” Unfortunately, it’s looking like The Expendables 4 might be dead on arrival.

Source: Various (see above)