Let’s just get started here by saying the Expendables 2 gives us what we had hoped the first one would have given us.
And let’s face it, we had a lot of expectations for the first one, right? How do you put all those awesome old school action guys into one movie and not get what you expected? Lots of dumb one-liners and TONS of action. Well, where the first Expendables vexingly fell short of expectations, Expendables 2 is here to make up for it.
No big brain-teaser of a plot here: Barney Ross (Stallone) is back with his crew of trigger-happy mercenary misfits and they are sent on a crazy mission that seems easy enough, but then one of their guys gets offed and the revenge mission begins. Yay, revenge mission!
The first Expendables was ok, but seemed to have too much blabbity-blab in between action sequnces. I don’t know if that was because Stallone both co-wrote AND directed the first, but here Simon West directs and seems to have a better handle on that, if you can believe it. But hey, if you have to pick something for Stallone to do, you may as well choose acting over directing. And with an added writer, their was something different i the mix. Whatever the case may be, this sequel ends up being more enjoyable than the first.
Bottom line with a movie like this isn’t the drama, it isn’t how much back story we get about everyone, even though some is needed to care about our violent team of protagonists, but it is indeed how much action and laughs you can cram into it. C’mon people, this is a very specific type of movie, you can’t really dig too deep.
So, that being said, Expendables 2 is funnier, bigger on action, and has the most insane amount of gunfire since the shootout scene in the movie Heat. It’s almost so over the top that it vorders on parody, and that’s exactly what I wanted to see.
The acting is fine – or shall I say, exactly what I anticpated with a bunch of guys who have made a living not needing to recite Shakespeare from memory. I must say, once again, that I am delighted to see Dolph Lundgren here, and he’s chock full of awesome once again. The addition of Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme is great. I heard Van Damme would only do this film if he could play the villian. He does so rather well. He plays a great prick. And Chuck Norris uses his screen time most effectively. Even Schwarzenegger has some great lines and is fun to watch here. We’ll see if his next venture on screen is as entertaining, or even believeable.
I liked the first Expendables, but in light of this one, the faults of the first are are obvious. Looking back, it occurs to me that i never really rated it. At this point, i’d give the first one three kittenhands. But Expendables 2 certainly gets four kittenhands. It’s simply a better script; it’s a lot more fun and ups the action quotient. I dare you to try and count the bullet casings. Go have fun watching the destruction.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, sorry I’ve been away. The other job that I actually get paid to do is really busy and sucking up a lot of my movie time. Hopefully we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled schedule now.