The Expendables are back and this time it’s personal…
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason 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….
Film informationGenre: Action
Director Simon West certainly knows how to throw a party up on the silver screen. When you look at The Expendables 2 lineup of superstars, it truly is dizzying. Virtually every 1980s action movie star is represented here and imagining that happening back then boggles the mind. These days it boils down to a joke. While The Expendables 2 might be a joke, it is a funny and entertaining one.
Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chuck Norris collectively represent about a quad zillion dollars at the gate throughout their careers. While The Expendables 2 is not likely to match those numbers, it is certainly going to make a fortune.
Where else would you find Chuck Norris single-handedly eliminating an entire squad? You hear about these things all over the Internet but you rarely get to witness them firsthand. While Chuck mows them down, Stallone, Schwarzenegger and the boys take on entire countries. (Okay so I’m joking about an entire country but these guys really could do that if they wanted to, right?)
The Expendables 2 is very much the same movie that we saw the first time around but with different scenery. There is little effort to cover up the shallow plot, and it almost feels as though it is paying homage to the horrible storylines from the past. The bottom line to this movie clearly is about who has the biggest guns, funniest jokes and largest biceps. It is testosterone fueled action from start to finish and makes no apologies about the inside jokes scattered throughout.
In this particular version of The Expendables, the boys chase down stolen plutonium all the way over in Albania. Jean-Claude Van Damme as the bad guy is as cool and ruthless as they get. Jean-Claude is still incredible and plays the villain fantastically.
Liam Hemsworth joins the cast but gets very little screen time. Yu Nan also heats up the screen as the female of the flick, but she is not given much space either in this dude-fest. The movie is clearly about one major thematic idea; blow up as many things as possible and in increasingly dramatic ways. For this film it appears that Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger do this just about as well as Rambo…errr… Sylvester Stallone. In fact, if you close your eyes and listen, it is fairly easy to put yourself right back into the 1980s.
The Expendables 2 is absolutely loaded with clichés and catchphrases that we have all heard 1 million times. Despite this familiarity, or perhaps because of it, The Expendables 2 fits like a glove. You can’t help but to smile at these over the hill action heroes flying around the screen saying the same old things. Action films from the 80s have a very specific look and feel and their heroes are required to be replete with cheesiness. Anything short of this would be disappointing for the types of guys that are going to love The Expendables 2.
Are there problems with The Expendables 2? Of course there are. The storyline has more holes than Swiss cheese and the reality factor is nonexistent. The characters are larger than life yet we know absolutely nothing about them. The action scenes are completely unbelievable and the blood and guts quotient are off the charts. All of the movie stars are over the hill and seem to say the same things in different ways over and over again.
Then again, those are all the reasons why we love The Expendables 2 so much. Perhaps this movie is perfection in its own way. Although this is the second time that all these movie stars have gotten together, I am reasonably certain that it won’t be the last.
The Expendables 2 is simply too much fun to do only once or twice.