The Expendables 2
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The Expendables 2
Director: Simon West
Writers: Richard Wenk, Sylvester Stallone, Ken Kaufman, David Agosto, Dave Callaham
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van-Damme, Chuck Norris, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Scott Adkins, Nan Yu, Amanda Ooms, Charisma Carpenter
Synopsis: Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout
The Old Dudes of Action are Back Again
The old school heroes of 80's and 90's action films are back. For those that whined and complained about Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger not being in too much of the last film, then have no fear, as they have a larger part in this. Although most of Arnold's lines consist of him saying various variations of "I'm back", or "I'll be back." But hey, who cares right? After all, we only want to see one thing from a movie like this, right? You know, guys blowing s*** up, cussing, and saying one liners throughout the whole movie; while barely having a story at all.
Sure, there's a run of the mill revenge story, as a young recruit that gets killed. Plus, it does involve a terrorist that tries to get his hands on some weapons of mass destruction, but that's not where this movie's focus lies. No, this film's main focus is on the action itself. Right from the beginning, we're not given any long winded explanation on who the characters are. Nah, we're treated to guys blowing s*** up in an epic action scene that seems to last about fifteen to twenty minutes; before we're given anything about the plot.
However, I wouldn't let that bother you. Besides, who needs a plot right? We don't need no sticking plot. Nah, like the last film, the plot mainly serves as nothing more than excuse than to provide our heroes a reason to kick a** and take names. Now, that's the American way.
Sure, I could be a jerk, and write a review that nitpicks every single flaw about this movie. For example, how ridiculous it is that guys like Chuck Norris can stand in plain sight of enemy fire, while having none of the bad guys hit him with their guns. Meanwhile, Chuck and the rest of the Expendables hit their targets with perfect accuracy. Or, I could point out how moronically stupid it is that Chuck Norris is able to take out a tank, and a small army, by himself.
Heck, they don't even bother coming up with a clever name for the villain in this movie, as Jean Claude Van-Damme's character is named Vilain. Gee, can we make his name anymore obvious that he's the villain?
To be fair though, I'll admit "The Expendables 2" may not have the best plot in the world, nor would I dare say it's the best action film out there. But, if your a fan old school action films of the 80's and 90's, then you'll probably love this movie. Granted, like the last film, it does tend to be a bit silly at times, but I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a lot of fun to watch.
Granted, I doubt we'll be talking about this film around Oscar time, but if your looking for a great action film that's fun and doesn't require a lot of thinking, then this might be right up your alley. In fact, both films would be.
However, if you're yearning for more intelligent action films, then I'd probably recommend something like "The Bourne" series, or possibly the last "Mission Impossible" movie; while probably staying away from this movie. Don't get me wrong, "The Expendables 2" isn't a bad film, but I wouldn't expect much out of it.
As for the pacing issues that some fans complained about in the last movie, you should be relieved to know there's a lot less downtime in this film. Although, I didn't think the last movie suffered from any pacing issues, but I guess that's just me. Sure, there's a few slow moments to move the story along, but all of that gets passed quickly to give fans what they really want to see....s*** blowing up, while their favorite action heroes utter one liners like "Yippee Kay Yay Mother F***er!" Besides, who wants to see a story anyway? Nah, we Americans just want to see s*** blow up, and guys cussing while uttering on liners. Oh yeah baby.
Yep, that's the American way folks. As for the cast, I thought all the actors played their parts well. The movie does emphasize a bit more on Slyvester's character, but somehow the film still manages to give each legendary action hero enough screen time to shine.
As for the special effects and action scenes, it was very well choreographed, and arguably some of the best stunts I've seen in a while since the last "Mission Impossible" film. Sadly this still doesn't cover up the fact that the plot merely serves as an excuse for legendary action icons to kick a** and take names. However, lets be honest with ourselves here, most of these guys have never been known to be great actors. Hell, most of them have been known to primarily make action films in ilk of the "Expendables", so why should we expect anything different from them? Seriously, did anyone ever honestly think these guys would get together to put on what...a Shakespeare esque story or something?
Bottom line, you're either going to love this movie, or you're going to hate it. As for me, I loved it. Granted, it's not the best action movie that I've seen, but it's a guilty pleasure to watch nonetheless at a rating of two out of four.