Christian Slater in "Soldiers of Fortune." (Anna Evsikova, Roadside…)
Thrill-seeking one-percenters become mercenary underdogs in "Soldiers of Fortune," a loud, cynical whiz-bang-boom dud that barely serves as an appetizer for the type of grizzled-geriatrics mayhem we can expect from the upcoming "The Expendables 2."
Christian Slater plays a recently retired, down-on-his-luck special forces soldier recruited by an "extreme vacation" company to give wealthy adventurers makeshift special-ops training, only it's really a fundraising tool for rebels on despot-ruled Snake Island to buy arms for their revolution.
Naturally, when a supposedly danger-free mission to help said rebels goes south for Slater's gang of millionaires — a rare metals magnate (Sean Bean), a cellphone company bigwig (James Cromwell), an African arms dealer (Ving Rhames), a game designer (Dominic Monaghan) and a creepy banker (Charlie Bewley) — it's "Dirty Dozen" time, only with more numbing explosions and far less testosterone-fueled antihero charm (though Bean and Cromwell try).
Cigars are chewed, one-liners follow blast-aways, barrels long and short get loving close-ups and the only two females (one good, one bad) play a dangerous game of chicken on jet skis. Director Maxim Korostyshevsky doesn't waste a lot of time getting from run-jump-shoot to duck-roll-cover and back again; the artillery decibel level isn't matched by any notable level of filmmaking craft or excitement.
A movie with a location named Snake Island should deliver more fun than this.
'Soldiers of Fortune'
MPAA rating: R for violence and language
Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Playing: At selected theaters