Action Movies, by Mike Richardson, 26 August 2012

Director: Simon West

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Liam Hemsworth and Randy Couture

Country: USA

Runtime: 103 min

Release Date:

Language: English

Few people were as excited as me when I heard the news that Stallone, Willis, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Li etc. etc. were getting together to give us the 80s action movie geeks all his Christmases at once. Sadly few people were more disappointed them when they actually saw the decaf-tea weak movie that they delivered. I wasn’t the only one who paid to see the 2010 action film The Expendables, fans blinded by the audacity of the casting filled the cinemas and thus the very unexpendable cast return and RELOAD!

The Expendables 2

The Expendables 2

The Expendables 2 was lit green before the original movie was even completed and released in theatres. Which explains why Dolph Lundgren’s (murderous junkie) character was resurrected despite being shot through the heart (and y’know one of the baddies).

Still if you want to watch a movie about a bunch of mercenaries who might just die (properly) you’d be heading back to the Wild Geese and not returning to Expendables (part deux). Fans (with expectations set to “low”) of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Norris, Li, Streatham, Couture (?), Van Damme et al will be in action movie hog heaven watching these icons flex their still-impressive muscles for a movie that could have been subtitled The Expendables Re-dux. It’s not just the cast that has returned (and expanded) the budget is up, the cameos are longer, the bullet and body count is up, the explosions are bigger (and more pointless) and the faults are BACK bigger and badder than Expendables mk 1.

But who cares (other than me).

This world is split into three distinct sections, 1) Those who applaud and adore whatever the Expendables through at us, clapping like circus seals and relishing every quip, every one-handed assault rifle discharge, every crash, every bang, every grunt as if this were their Citizen Kane. 2) Those who simply couldn’t care less about Stallone’s really Wild Bunch re-hash, and will probably be watching Citizen Kane instead. And then there is 3) Me! Possibly the only 1980s action movie cinephile that wanted more. Not just more names, not just more bullets, but more QUALITY. I found myself chewing angrily on my popcorn as every time The Expendables had the chance to shine, and make armaments (sorry amends) for the lack of plot, shallow characters, trite script, unfunny one-liners of the first film, as instead they plunked for the laziest common detonator (sorry, denominator). It looks like the 1980’s goodwill the cast generated has run a little flat as The Expendables 2 made an estimated $29 million in ticket sales in its opening weekend, 21% down on its predecessor’s haul.
CRASH BANG WALLOP what a picture we could have had.

The Expendables 2 is directed by Simon (Con Air) West and written by Richard Wenk and Sylvester Stallone, based on a story by Ken Kaufman, David Agosto and Wenk, but could have been cobbled together from various direct to video scenes and pot contrivances for the cast’s back catalogue. Which is a shame, because making a movie is the hard part, and making a decent movie isn’t that much harder.
The best thing about The Expendables 2 (just like The Expendables 1) are the stars; Sylvester Stallone (in charge and mumbling), Jason Statham (an expert with knives and stabbing weapons) , Jet Li (kicking and being short), Dolph Lundgren (being Dolph), Chuck Norris (too hard not to be in this movie) , Randy Couture (making up the numbers), Terry (direct to DVD)Crews, Liam (barely noteworthy) Hemsworth, Jean-Claude (back from the brink) Van Damme, Bruce (hands free phoning it in) Willis and the former governor of California Arnold (yes, yes you’re back) Schwarzenegger.

If the above list is enough to tickle your fancy, the Expendables 2 will likely tickle your fancy pink, but there’s plenty out there in cinemaland for everyone else.

The Expendables 2 Trailer

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