Tag Archives: Jet Li

My Thoughts on: The Expendables (2010)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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By all the rules of film as I understand them, The Expendables should not work. It’s a film filled with big action stars from the last 30 years who are slowly but surely getting past their prime and a story with actors like that just shouldn’t work! However, the action is so over the top that it does work and that’s why I freaking love The Expendables. It’s a story that follows Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his band of fellow mercenaries as they go on a job for Mr. Church (Bruce Willis). The regular band of Expendables consists of:

  • Lee Christmas (Jason Statham)
  • Yin Yang (Jet Li)
  • Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren)
  • Toll Road (Randy Couture)
  • Hale Caesar (Terry Crews)

There’s also Mickey Rourke as Tool and Steve Austin (of WWE fame) as Dan Paine, one of the bad guys.

The plot of The Expendables, in a nutshell, is extremely basic. The band of mercenaries gets hired on a job that becomes very complicated and messy before all is said and done. In this case, Barry and the rest of our heroes are engaged to take out the dictator of a small island nation, only to find out that he’s being backed by a rogue CIA agent. It’s about as basic as a plot gets for an action film, but that’s alright because the insane levels of violence make up for any missing plot details. Seriously, this film (and the entire Expendables series) is an homage to the action flicks of the 80s. There are explosions everywhere, huge gunfights, and so much blood and death it’s kind of scary at times. And yet, despite that, as I said before, it just works. All the violence, all the gun fights, there’s something oddly cathartic about it all, that I can’t help but love.

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It really is great to see so many action stars together in one place, that’s just part of what makes The Expendables so much fun, seeing all of those stars together and just watching them bounce off one another in all kinds of entertaining ways (I particularly love the dynamic between Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone).

Let me know what you think about The Expendables in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: The Expendables 2 (2012)

Brian Tyler talks The Expendables (2010)

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Brian Tyler talks War (2007)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link

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Brian Tyler talks War (2007)

War is a film that I have not seen but I’m sure I would like, given that it stars Jet Li and Jason Statham. The film is the directorial debut of Philip G. Atwell and tells the story of FBI agent John Crawford (Statham) who becomes obsessed with hunting down an assassin named Rogue (Li) after he brutally murders his partner. But, as it turns out, the story isn’t nearly as straightforward as it seems, there are some mind-blowing twists involved.

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Unbelievably, it comes out that the assassin Crawford has been hunting down is none other than his supposed-to-be-dead partner! It turns out that after being supposedly killed, he tracked down and murdered the real Rogue in order to work his way into the Yakuza to find out who ordered the assassin to take out his family. But there’s another twist: it comes out that Crawford is the one responsible for giving out his partner’s address to Rogue (albeit under heavy duress) because he’s been in the Yakuza’s pocket for quite some time. Talk about twists upon twists!

The film was produced under the working title of  Rogue (named for Jet Li’s character) but it was changed to avoid conflicting with an Australian horror film of the same name that was released the same year.

In the interview (which can be accessed in the link above), Tyler explains that he was approached to work on War after the premiere of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), and after watching some footage from the film-in-progress, he begged for the chance to score the film. Additional music for the film was provided by RZA, Mark Batson and Machines of Loving Grace.

A major element of the story involves the Chinese Triad going to war with the Japanese Yakuza. As a result, Tyler created a musical blend using Chinese and Japanese instruments against one another to symbolize the growing conflict between the two groups.

I have to say, looking at Brian Tyler’s work has given me a completely new appreciation for action films and their music. A lot of people write off action films as being “mindless” or somehow “less than” bigger dramatic films, but I think action films can be just as good as any other film genre if they’re done properly.

It was really exciting learning how Brian Tyler created the score for War and I hope you enjoy the interview too.

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Brian Tyler “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem” scoring session (2007)

Brian Tyler scoring Partition (2007)

Brian Tyler talks Rambo (2008)

Brian Tyler “Law Abiding Citizen” scoring sessions (2009)

Brian Tyler “Dragonball Evolution” scoring session (2009)

Brian Tyler talks The Expendables (2010) 

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler “Battle: Los Angeles” (2011) scoring session

Brian Tyler scoring session for Iron Man 3 (2013)

Brian Tyler “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014) scoring session

Brian Tyler conducting and scoring Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Brian Tyler “Power Rangers” scoring session (2017)

Brian Tyler conducts The Mummy (2017)

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