The Expendables 2 is the action lovers’ wet dream. With an all-star cast such as Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, how can you go wrong? Well, let me tell you how. The film plays like a giant cameo for retired 80’s action stars. Filled with cheesy one-liners, horrible acting and a plot that was probably put together while enjoying a bowel movement – it’s the kind of movie you watch simply for good old-fashioned ass-kicking action.
The film follows “The Expendables”, a mercenary group, as they seek revenge against a Villain surprisingly named – “Vilain” (Van Damme), a rival mercenary who murders one of their own, and threatens the world with a deadly weapon. With director Simon West (Con Air) taking over the helm, there’s enough gun porn in the first ten minutes of this film to make you blow your load. From the opening rescue of a kidnapped Chinese billionaire to a climactic airport battle against Van Damme and his henchmen – the action is non-stop.
Bruce Willis is back as CIA Church and unlike the first Expendables he has a bigger part. Besides being just the guy who sends the team on their journey, Bruce shares a hilarious scene with Arnold that has the two of them riding around in a smart car. Though the scene was well put together, Schwarzenegger (being away from films for such a long period of time) wasn’t at his best. He has his moments, but his comedic timing was off and is nowhere near 80’s or even 90’ Arnold. When Schwarzenegger said “I’ll be back” in this film for the first time, I was like “hell ya”, by about the thirtieth time, I wanted to pound my head into my arm rest.
Sylvester Stallone has a great fighting sequence with Jean Claude that brings out their 80’s best. Stallone pulls out the “Rocky” and doesn’t pull punches while, Van Damme breaks out his “Bloodsport” with old-school moves that we all know and love. Jason Statham has a few thrilling knife fight scenes along with the same old “every Jason Statham movie action sequences” his fans love. Dolph Lundgren revises his role as “Gunner Jensen” but instead of being the team traitor he is now the team comedian. Terry Crews and Randy Couture return, but their characters are given little to do – unlike their counterpart Jet Li, whom after being somewhat underused in the first Expendables film gets a chance to really show what he’s got (for at least a little while).
Newcomers are Liam Hemsworth, who shows up as the new team sniper, and Yu Nan who plays “Maggie” a Chinese agent who enjoys torture. I have to give credit when it’s due. For a film filled with testosterone, Yu Nan, really hold her own. Though my personal favorite newcomer is non-other than, the man, the myth, the legend himself – Chuck Norris. He arrives in a scene and does what Chuck Norris does best (involves a Chuck Norris joke), and then moves on. He is literally a one man army.
Overall The Expendables 2 is a movie filled with paper-thin characters, poor acting and a bunch of actors who just signed up for a pay cheque. Anyone who goes to this film expecting to see “Saving Private Ryan” is setting themselves up for disappointment. However, if you’re willing to overlook all that, and you’re in the market for 103 minutes of pointless action sequences filled with testosterone and mind blowing explosions, than make no makes no mistake; The Expendables 2 is for you.
Even though I enjoyed the pointless action, I have to give “The Expendables 2” a 4/10.
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“The Expendables 2”, is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout. Running time: 103 minutes. In theatres everywhere August 17, 2012.