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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Expend4bles (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


The Expendables crew returns with plenty of new faces to stop a terror threat that could start World War 3.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Expend4bles is the fourth entry in the Expendables franchise. Turn off all thought processes, get the biggest tub of popcorn ready, and jump headfirst into the testosterone-fueled action. The ensemble cast of past-their-prime and nearing that state actors playing the team of cleanup mercenaries who will take on the most dangerous, off-the-book assignments when the government has no one left to do the job are joined by some new blood. The cast includes Jason Statham (Meg 2: The Trench), Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson (Den of Thieves), Megan Fox (Transformers), Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV), Toney Jaa (Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior), Iko Uwais (The Raid 2), Randy Couture (Outlaw Johnny Black), Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven), and Sylvester Stallone (Rocky).

This time out the team are sent to fight terrorists who want to start World War III by exploding a nuclear bomb hidden on a cargo ship disguised as a U.S. military vessel in Russian waters.

The original film that kicked off the franchise was fun and worked because it brought back many of the action stars of the 1980s a bit past their prime and put them back in business in the big, bold, and over-the-top films they were known for. It was a wink and a nod to the fans and it delivered. Now, four films in, not only is the novelty wearing off, but there are so many new, younger actors added that the original premise no longer holds. Furthermore, many of the original stars have vanished. There is no Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, or Bruce Willis. There is no Chuck Norris or Arnold Schwarzenegger. What we do get, however, is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Megan Fox as the resident bit of eye candy – please do not get angry at me for saying it. She is literally there just to look good; her role is pointless. Even when she is tasked with “leading the team” it turns into the Jason Statham show. Come on.

As for the story, it is nothing we have not seen a bajillion times in everything from big budget blockbusters to straight to home video B-movies. The quality of the set pieces sets this apart from most other than the obvious drop-off in budget given some bad CGI work in places. The plane crash sequence early on looks very fake, the full moon over the sea in the cargo ship scene may as well be an old painted backdrop given how artificial it looks.  With all of that said, there is no denying that this film can still entertain and delivers for those who love action and just want a popcorn film as a pastime.

  • Megan Fox in Expend4bles (2023)
  • Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham in Expend4bles (2023)
  • Dolph Lundgren in Expend4bles (2023)
  • Expend4bles (2023)
Expend4bles (2023)
  • Megan Fox in Expend4bles (2023)
  • Megan Fox in Expend4bles (2023)
  • Expend4bles (2023)
  • The Expend4bles Lenticular Cover (Amazon Exclusive)
  • The Expendables 4 Steelbook (Best Buy Exclusive)
  • The Expendables 1-4 Walmart SteelBook Exclusive (Lionsgate)
  • Expend4bles DVD (Lionsgate)
  • Expend4bles Blu-ray (Lionsgate)
  • Expend4bles 4K Ultra HD Combo (Lionsgate)

The Video

Expend4bles was shot on the Sony CineAlta Venice Rialto and CineAlta Venice with Atlas Orion lenses in the AXSM X-OCN XT 4K Atlas Scope format. It comes to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in a 2.40:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement that has HDR10 metadata showing a MaxLL of 1000 nits and a MaxFALL of 711 nits. Despitesome of the poor CGI in the film, the imagery overall is stunning, and it looks gorgeous on this release which is reference quality. It has a pristine look although it is filmic, no signs of noise, blocking, or banding. The Dolby Vision grading offers stunning specular highlights in the sparks of gun flares, headlights on automobiles, and reflections on surfaces like the ocean at night in the cargo ship scenes. The flames in explosions are three dimensional and have various gradients of reds, oranges, and ambers. Shadow detail is flawless.

The Audio

Fire up the HT and make sure you give your audio system a warm-up, because this one is going to be a heavy-duty workout. The lossless English Dolby Atmos mix is super aggressive, but in the best possible ways for a film like this. They start early with the bombast of low rumbling engines and booming explosions. It does not let up. The soundtrack thumps as well, with the hip hop and techno songs bouncing and panning up into the overheads underpinned by big low frequencies. Bullets whiz by through the surrounds, airplanes rumble and fly overhead from rear left to front, and so forth. Dialogue stays over the sound of effects and intelligible.

The Supplements

Lionsgate includes a couple of featurettes extoling the greatness of this actioner with many interviews with the cast and crew. There is also an audio commentary with the director. My advice would be to listen to it the first time through because you may not want to return to this film for a second go.

Bonus Features:

  • Digital Copy Code
  • Audio Commentary with Director Scott Waugh
  • Bigger, Bolder, Badder: The Expendables in Action (1080p; 00:16:57)
  • More Than a Team: New Blood Meets Old Blood (1080p; 00:19:07)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:01:52)

The Final Assessment

Turn off your mind, relax, and enjoy the spectacle of Expend4bles on 4K Ultra HD. It is an amazing reference release even if it is an unintentionally self-parodying, farcical action film.

Expend4bles is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo November 21, 2023 from Lionsgate.

  • Rating Certificate: R (for strong/bloody violence throughout, language and sexual material.)
  • Studios & Distributors: Campbell Grobman Films | Media Capital Technologies | Millennium Films | Nu Boyana Film Studios | Lions Gate Films | Lionsgate Home Entertainment
  • Director: Scott Waugh
  • Written By: Kurt Wimmer | Tad Daggerhart | Max Adams
  • Run Time: 103 Mins.
  • Street Date: 21 November 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 1000 nits
    • MaxFALL: 711 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: English Descriptive Audio | Spanish DD 5.1 | French DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH | French | Spanish

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The Expendables crew returns with plenty of new faces to stop a terror threat that could start World War 3.Expend4bles (4K UHD Review)