Movie Review: THE EXPENDABLES 2
Published: August 16, 2012 - 1:52pm
What was promised in the first film is delivered in this one. Willis, Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme and Norris exchange some of their most famous movie lines at each other, hilariously poking fun at their legacies all to the backdrop of enough explosions to last for every film from now till next summer.
If you're an action movie junkie like me then this is the movie you've been waiting for. Expendables 2 isn't The Raid, which updates and elevates the genre for a new audience. This is full-throttle 80's action goodness and I wouldn't want it any other way.
The plot is as cliched as you can expect: Stereotypical bad ass good-guy mercenaries lead by Sylvester Stallone face off against stereotypical bad ass bad-guy mercenaries led by Jean Claude Van Damme who wants to sell stolen nuclear fuel on the black market. But you're not here for a new and engaging story. You're not here to see high tech, futuristic gadgetry. You're here -- or you should be, at least -- to see these heavy hitters of the past and present pound on each other while bullets are flying and explosions are echoing. Plus, it's packed with just as much cheekiness as it is with mayhem. Classic one-liners and iconic catchphrases are spat back and forth for the enjoyment of the audience, not to progress the story. They even throw in Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) as the young buck to help spurn more old war horse humor.
In the span of two hours this film offers the chance to see Stallone square off against Van Damme, Jason Statham take on Scott Adkins and Chuck Norris save the day (while making a Chuck Norris joke). If that isn't enough, Terry Crews, Randy Couture and Jet Li show up to provide even to more vicious brawling. And let's not forget Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis standing side-by-side to shoot up a good hundred or so random baddies with all manner of automatic canons. Again, I wouldn't have it any other way.
If I'm going to dish out the money to see this cast of cinematic monoliths share the screen I want a simple, straightforward story filled with as much ridiculousness as possible. Don't get me wrong, it's not a dumb movie. Except for the overuse of blood splattering the action here is gritty and raw. Whereas I was left with a feeling of wanting after seeing the first installment of this franchise, now I've very satisfied. This movie is campy because it wants to be campy, and made for those who aren't looking to criticize but sit back and enjoy a fun throwback to the awesome actioneers of old. Hopefully they keep 'em coming.
The Expendables 2 is directed by Simon West (The Mechanic) and stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jean Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Scott Adkins, Liam Hemsworth, Jet Li and Bruce Willis. It hits theaters August 17th, 2012.
The Expendables are back and this time it's personal... Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Lee Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren),Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) -- with newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard -- are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school mercenaries. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time -- six pounds of weapons-grade plutonium; enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that's nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary who savagely murdered their brother. That is done the Expendables way....