Finally watched it last night. Above average, but not great.
The story was sloppy; it was awesome seeing Dolph Lundgren on the big screen again after over a decade of STC/STV flicks, but really -- take his character out of the film and it has absolutely no effect on the movie. He's an unnecessary character who has no impact on the story's plot.
It was also a rush -- for me, anyway -- to see Gary Daniels in the movie. To the uninitiated, Daniels is basically a heavily muscled, european Jet Li. This guy has moves you could not possibly imagine a man of his physique having. But he is sadly, sadly underused.
They introduce what you think is going to be a running joke with Jet Li asking for more money. He says this a few times. Sly turns him down each time. This may seem like a carp but since the majority of Li's lines rotate around this need for more money, they've given it the weight of a full sub-plot. But this sub-plot is never resolved (and it could have been, very easily). The main plot isn't the only part of a film which needs a resolution. Sub-plots need one, too, or you're left wondering "What the hell did that have to do anything?"
The spanish girl. At one point Eric Roberts tells the spanish general this girl has to die, and the general, despite some resistance, appears to ultimately agree. Cut to later in the movie. She's still alive. And we learn this just in time for her to be used as a hostage by Robert. You remember him, the guy who insisted she had to die, and afterwards was given the opportunity, and his character is the type of villain who would have done it without hesitation. Yet here she is, missing from the movie for twenty minutes, now back again. She should not have been locked up in a dungeon twenty minutes after Roberts convinces the general to have her killed. The next time we see her after that point, she should have been dead. There is absolutely no reason for her to still be alive after that scene with Roberts and the General. This, you can attribute to the screenwriter; it shows he didn't let the story flow from the characters, but already had a rigid, unbendable plot programmed for the movie.
Okay. Story complaints aside (though that's not all of them) -- let's talk about one of the only two reasons anyone will want to see this flick: the action.
The action is fast, furious and brutal. The movie is definitely not boring. Gunfights, car chases, fist-fights -- the movie is wall-to-wall action, bloody well done, and each character is given at least one scene to show off their bad ass-ness. Bodies explode, limbs are chopped off, bullets chew through opponents, Jet Li kicks and chops, Sly fist-fights and body-slams, Statham knives and kung-pows, Steve Austin body-slams and throws people around and Dolph Lundgren shows when it comes to speed, he can hold his own with Jet Li. Yet all this is depicted in such a style that it still feels like an old-school 80s/90s action flick. That it both impressed and brought back memories of previous action greats is to its credit.
The second reason anyone would want to watch this movie is to see the collecting of iconic old-school and new-school action stars, and they won't be disappointed. You've got your old-school tough guys: Stallone. Schwarzenegger. Willis. Lundgren. Roberts. Daniels. Even Li, who was known the world-over long before we ignorant Americans first allowed him into the country in Lethal Weapon 4.
Then you've got your new-school tough guys. Statham. Crews. Austin. Couture. Statham gets the most screen-time, as does Austin as the lead henchman -- but of all their screen characters, I liked Couture's the best. I'd never seen him in a movie before, and he shows that when it comes to acting, he can hold his own against the very formidable cast.
So, summing up. Story: no damn good. Action: top friggin' notch, and though normally I insist on an equal balance, I think the action makes up for the lack of cohesive story.
Definitely give it a watch.