Thank you, Sylvester Stallone for re-introducing the great badness that was 80’s action nostalgia. Even though he was slightly over his head with the mindless thrill ride that was The Expendables. Stallone leaves the directorial duties to Simon West in The Expendables 2. Ironically, actually lives up to the cliche. “Better than the first.”
Stallone and his Expendables squad is back for another adventure bringing Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Terry Crews back but also dives into the film library with the likes of Chuck Norris, Scott Adkins, and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Not only that, but we get more Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzengger this time around. Christmas comes early.
The Expendables start off in a rescue mission to rescuing Trench (Schwarzenegger) and all it is an excuse to blow your mind or whatever is left with nonstop gun battles and explosions. Then we settle into the already thin as hell plot. Seriously, it has the thickness of a string of yarn. Mr. Church (Willis) orders them to get back kilos of plutonium. The newest member is a Church operative Maggie Chan who fits in and kicks a little ass as well. She’s played by Yu Nan but one of their own is senselessly killed off by Jean Villain (Van Damme) and there you have it, a cold blooded revenge story. Van Damme looks like he’s having a blast with his villainous role, no matter how bad his acting is. With all this posing towards Stallone, you know we are in for one epic fight between Rocky and Kickboxer.
You can tell this had a bigger budget (100 million) with all the locations including Bulgaria, Hong Kong and New Orleans. With that, the film becomes more preposterous and more memorable. Especially when you see Chuck (expletive) Norris in this! Yes, his acting still is nonexistant, but who cares? He’s a good sport, teasing himself and even gets his taste of joining in on the already high body count Director Simon West’s expertise in elaborate action sequences shows big time especially when you see a motorcycle blow up a helicopter or Stallone using enemies as target practice. Damn, he’s fast with that gun. Stallone saves the best for last packing everyone into a 20 min epic sequence that turns into a opera of bullets and dead bodies. West gives everyone what they deserve including seeing Willis, Stallone, Schwarzenegger introduced together in slam bang fashion.
This has all the elements an 80’s action film. Thin plot, mediocre to bad acting, unforgettable action sequences and some awesome one-liners. This is the ultimate tough guy movie. The way this franchise is going, I hope they never become Expendable.
The Expendables 2 gets a B+
I’m Jake Turner, reminding you to spend your money wisely at the Cinema.