Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his elite team of mercenaries called the Expendables are back in action, with their latest mission pitting them against a group of heavily armed kidnappers to rescue a Chinese businessman. After they complete the mission and head out for some R&R, Ross is once again encountered by Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) for a new mission. -summary
OK... I know I wasn't drunk. The bud ashes are easily about 5 hours old, and the nose candy has been retired for quite some time. Therefore, I was completely in my right mind when I saw this, so if anyone thinks I missed the mark and this movie is actually total trash, then maybe I'm suffering from some bad after effects because I enjoyed this sequel. The originalExpendables featured an ensemble all-star cast of the greatest action stars ever. It was meant to be the action flick of all action flicks, and a throwback to 80's testosterone-filled macho-bullshit gun toting mayhem. For many reasons it really didn't feel that way and the end result was a very bland flick that would make Uwe Boll scream "awesome!". This sequel on the other hand is the action movie the original should have been. Now do I consider it one of the greatest action flicks ever made? Well, not at all, not even close, but it's a step in the right direction should Sly decide to increase the number count. Directed by Simon West (Con Air), the Expendables 2 (2012) features the returning cast and makes mindless storytelling fun again, at least for awhile anyway.
The action scenes are definitely a step up with an opening scene that blows away everything found in its predecessor. It gets better too, as the final scene ups the tempo with cool and cheesy lines galore, with some of those lines receiving a nice little twist. It was actually fun this time to see Arnie, Willis, Sly, Statham, and even Van Damme just hamming it up with the acting. The shoot outs and car crashes had a nice bit of imagination with even one poor bastard winning the wet T-shirt contest. The fisticuffs were better edited, thus, cooler to watch this time. Statham busts out the knife fighting moves in quick combat, plus Van Damme appears to still be in some great shape delivering those spin kicks.
The plot is very simple and easy to follow. Ross is given a mission to venture into Albania to a plane crash site and retrieve a briefcase. Another outfit appears and one of Ross' men is predictably offed. From there it's, "you killed my friend, now your ass is mine." Your basic revenge tale with something random tossed out there leading up to the final hand to hand beat half to death ending.
The original movie as flawed as it was did lay out the ground work I will admit, and this sequel expands on it very well. There's a decent amount of character development through buddy bonding moments, and the cast is given some type of personality. There's more of a balance too, with Stallone and Statham not hogging the spotlight as much as last time. Most of the cast were able to hold their own. Hell, even Chuck Norris at the age of 72 was nice to see no matter how corny he may have appeared, and Van Damme was a good choice for a villain, not because he was awesome or anything like that. You just knew that the ending battle was going to be worth it given his physical skill. The only real flaws I can think of is that the new member to the group Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) should have had gimmick stamped to his forehead. I mean his fate couldn't have been anymore obvious. Plus Jet Li fans will be let down knowing that he disappears from the movie not to be seen again. Thankfully he delivers a decent enough action performance.
The Expendables 2 is like a well disciplined solider. It's given a mission and it sets out for it never straying from the written in stone path. There are no misplaced themes or attempts at high art. It's straight up kicking bubble gum and chewing ass with corny lines and eye rolling deus ex machina. I don't think it's possible that I was so disappointed with the original that I may like this more than I should, because my mind just doesn't work like that. I really had a good time with this one, and I feel like revisiting more action flicks. If this sounds like your type of movie then chances are it is. If you despised the original then there's a chance you may enjoy this one. It really is better, but to some people that may not be saying much at all.
Pros: -Better action and more fun than original
Cons: -Doesn't exactly break any new ground, way too predictable
When I first saw the trailer for the first Expendables movie; I thought I had died and gone to action movie heaven. The Expendables featured an ensemble cast made up of the most well known past and present action movie stars. For me it was the coolest thing ever. When I eventually saw the movie (I bought the DVD with birthday money) I was alittle disappointed. The movie wasn’t very actiony and overall didn’t feel as great as the trailers made … more
2010’s ensemble action film ‘The Expendables” was an ode to the time when action movies ruled the multiplexes and when adrenaline-pumping stunts and explosions took precedence over plot and substance. Directed by Sylvester Stallone, the film did have some rough spots but proved to be a escapist fun. It also brought together the past and present array of action stars that satisfied action junkies. Well, this time, with Simon West at the helm as director and script written by Stallone … more
The action film has a curious history. Granted, studios didn’t begin pumping them out in the ‘80’s, but, to a large part, they experienced a significant retooling in that bygone era. Mostly, this renaissance was fueled by the big budget star – think Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Arnold Schwarzenegger – coming aboard a particular action vehicle and asking for the part to be customized to what his … more
Star Rating: Watching The Expendables 2, I was repeatedly reminded of the Julie Brown single “I Like ‘em Big and Stupid,” a 1980s synthpop novelty song about the inexplicable attraction to muscle-bound men with low IQs. A sample of the opening verse: “When I need something to help me unwind / I find a six-foot baby with a one-track mind. / Smart guys are nowhere, they make demands / Give me a moron with talented hands.” Rare for … more
2010's The Expendables was a grand celebration of corny action movies with plenty of big names and big action. Upon watching it more I saw it did have flaws such as quick cuts of shaky cam and being filmed a little too close among some other issues. The Expendables 2 clears out most of those issues but brings a few more with it. In the original, we got the basics and thats been built upon here too. Stallone's Barney Ross runs a team of super duper … more
Of the 6 movies on my list The Expendables 2 is one of the ones I'm Most excited for. When I watched the first trailer, although it was only about 50 seconds long; it was enough to get me screaming like a Little girl at a Justin Beiber Concert. From that first trailer it looked like the movie was going to be on a more serious tone than it predecessor. I guess you could say the lighting and the low toned music gave me that impression. I was hoping the story would open up a … more