For the entire month of April, Cinefessions will once again be locked inside The Asylum, reviewing tons of releases by the famed studio. Every weekday throughout April you will get another Asylum review. April’s podcast will also be devoted to films from The Asylum.
Sometimes a “mockbuster” is simple to pull off. A film like Transformers or Indiana Jones is simple enough to mimic. The Expendables, though, is more difficult to rip off, mainly because it already has the entire catalogue of aged, male action stars in it. So The Asylum had the idea to make an all-out action film with an all female cast instead, and call it Mercenaries.
The President’s daughter is captured and imprisoned while touring a war zone, so a team of elite female commandos are assembled to infiltrate a female prison for a daring rescue. The plot is as bare bones as it needs to be, but it does just enough to develop the characters that we meet. The cast is easily one of the highlights of the film. Zoë Bell, Vivica A. Fox, Kristanna Loken, Brigitte Nielsen, and, while I didn’t know her before, Nicole Bilderback also stars, and she’s fantastic. All the women just role with the silliness, and that’s all you can ask for from a female version of what is typically a male-only flick.
Edward DeRuiter provides a super cheesy, but fun script. This is the same guy who gave us Two Headed Shark Attack, so I’m completely surprised that this was as enjoyable as it was. If Mercenaries has one problem, it’s that the CGI is comparable to all of the other Asylum films. I can’t say I was expecting a bigger budget, but it is a noticeable flaw to the film that sticks out and proves we are indeed watching a low budget film. That said, I’d definitely rewatch Mercenaries, maybe next time with alcohol further enhance the experience.
Mercenaries is an over-the-top, female version of The Expendables, and offers not only entertainment that is on-par with Expendables, but is actually better than the trash that was The Expendables 3. Hopefully The Asylum does a sequel because I would probably love that one too.
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.