Title: The Expendables 2 (2012)
Director: Simon West
Cast: Sylvester Stallone,
Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren,
Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Charisma Carpenter, Nan Yu
Are you ready for a shot of testosterone? Actually, an overdose of testosterone? Because that’s exactly what your going to get with The Expendables 2, a film with big muscle tanks, shooting and blowing up everything that comes in their paths. After all the death and destruction, they all go for a little bit of male bonding and hang out at their favorite biker bar to smoke a couple of stogies and chug down a couple of beers. This is the kind of films where if you ask a question, they’ll answer it with bullets.
This time around, there isn’t much of a story, but the basic premise goes something like this: the villainous villain named ‘Vilain’ (yup!) has found a hidden cache of plutonium worth about four million dollars. He is using the people of a small town as slaves in order to dig and recover the hidden plutonium. The Expendables are then contacted by a government official named ‘Church’ to try and stop him. This mission should be a walk in the park for them, but could Vilain end up being more of a villain than they bargained for?
So yeah, this movie put a big smile on my face for the whole damn ride. I went to see these aging action stars from the eighties blow stuff up; and they did it very well, in this aspect, the film didn’t disappoint one bit. There’s whole chunks of this film simply dedicated to machine guns being fired none stop for minutes on end. I mean, this movie gets loud! How loud? Well, in the first ten minutes of the film they blow up a helicopter, a tank, a couple of buildings and massacre god knows how many henchmen. They shoot guns, bazookas, machine guns, shot guns, you name it and it gets fired, and that’s just in the opening of the film which by the way is pretty bombastic. They really wanted to open up the film with a bang! It’s a great opening scene because all these aging action stars seem to be having the time of their lives; these characters don’t have a care in their minds, it feels as if these guys shoot their guns knowing that they are invincible.
Which is really part of the films charm, we know they aren’t going to die, we know they are going to blow everything up, beat up the bad guy, save the day and get the girl! It’s how they go about it that counts; it’s the attitude they carry while they do it that matters. In the opening sequence, The Expendables drive around this truck that has a sign that reads ‘Bad Attitude’ and that says it all right there. The fun of watching this movie is really watching these old dudes we grew up with kicking some ass and cracking jokes while doing it. Half of the fun is listening to the banter as they make fun of each other and their action star careers. One of the funniest moments has Arnold and Willis stealing each others catch phrases! Hilarious in deed. Chuck Norris got a big audience reaction when he appeared on screen, but the same happened with all of them. The first time we see
Arnold, a smile creeped up on my face when he says "this is embarassing", his appearance in the film is like an unvailing, the first of many surprises to come for 80's action fans. The film grabs you from the very beginning, once you see these guys having so much fun tearing up the place, you just know this is going to be a fun ride. The 'One That Hasn't Aged So Well Award' goes to Jean-Claude Van Damme, who looks like crap when he takes off his glasses, which is probably why he wears them for a huge part of the film and in contrast, the 'Aging Gracefully Award' goes to Dolph Lundgren, who looks pretty much the same he's always looked, but with a really funny attitude, sam as in the first film, he's character is one of the best things about this sequel. Lundgren should be making more theatrical action films in my opinion.
He's back! Just like he always said he would!
Story wise the film is fluffy, and when I say fluffy I mean it really doesn’t even matter. The whole business with the plutonium is just an excuse for blowing shit up; which is fine I guess. I started to wonder what a film like this one would be like if it had a more serious tone to it, but I guess it wouldn’t be what it is if it was more serious in tone. What we like about these films is the goofiness; it reminds us how silly action movies from the 80’s where and how much fun they were to watch. Ever sat down to watch Cobra (1986) or Invasion U.S.A.(1985)? These films are unintentionally hilarious; which means they weren’t made to be funny, back in the day that’s just the way action films were. These films where filled with nonsensical plot lines, indestructible heroes and huge amounts of violence. That’s what the eighties action films where all about, and that’s exactly what you get with The Expendables 2.
On the downside, Chuck Norris walks in and out of the movie in five minutes. It’s great to see him appear and make a few jokes about him being ‘The Lonewolf’ but I wish he’d been a more integral part of the film, same goes for Jet Li who is in the film only for the opening sequence, though he does have his moment to shine. I guess theres so many characters that some of them have to be sacrificed in the altar of screen time. Still, this film is bigger, louder and more explosive then the first Expendables film. I’m looking forward to the inevitable sequel, which considering how much money this ones making at the box office is a sure thing. I hear they are going to try and get Clint Eastwood and Nicholas Cage to appear in the film which would be awesome, let’s hope it happens. Steven Segal’s also been M.I.A. in this series. Also, I hope Wesley Snipes gets out of jail in time to make it for the next sequel as well, I have to say he’s been sorely missed in this series. All in all, Expendables 2 is a solid slice of 80’s style action, recommend it for a night of mindless, nostalgic fun.
Rating: 4 out of 5