Directed by: Simon West
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Liam Hemsworth, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Randy Couture, Yu Nan, Charisma Carpenter
When it comes to the original I was not the biggest fan, I am also not a fan of when Stallone directs he can be a hit or miss director. The original brought a fun concept to the movie but never really really embraced the ridiculous plot and just had a some great action and hit or miss acting, Dolph Lundgren didn’t hit the mark with his character and was nothing more than a muscle bond drug addict who betrays his team. The new one makes up on loss ground and presents itself as a self aware film that pokes fun at the action heroes that the cast portrayed early in their career and Dolph Lundgren plays his part well this time and at times makes references to his genius level intellect. This time around the actors seemed like they were enjoying themselves much more than in the previous one and had more one-liners that plagued 80’s action movies. The only problem that I noticed was the fact that Arnold was really rusty when it came to his acting, it is probably the few years that he took off of acting to be the governor of California, he has always been an actor that always seemed to be stiff when it came to acting and his scenes show proof of that.
Barney Ross, Lee Christmas, Yin Yang, Gunnar Jensen,Toll Road and Hale Caesar — with newest members Billy the Kid and Maggie aboard — are reunited when Mr. Church 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.
The opening ten minutes alone make up for the mistakes made in the first one, the action was intense and was well played. It was great to see all the action stars working together to free their target and get out of it alive. The action throughout the movie is also an upgrade, it doesn’t feel choppily edited or rushed. I like that they are continuing bringing in action stars like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris, both who seem to be enjoying their roles especially Van Damme who plays a pretty good villain by the name Jean Vilain (haha), and even Chuck Norris pulls a Chuck Norris joke which was amusing in itself. The best part of course was when Stallone, Arnold, and Willis all join together to take on a bunch of enemies, something that was teased in the first but comes to together in this film and I couldn’t be happier with the end results.
I really like the idea and concept of this franchise but the first one is a bit disappointing but what the first one lacked the new one makes up for it. If their is any movie to see this August or to finish off summer this movie is it. It is the last great action movie of the summer and definitely lives up to the hype.
8 out of 10
- Jean Claude Van Damme – Jean-claude Van Damme ‘honoured’ To Star In Expendables 2 (contactmusic.com)
- Your Expendables 2 Power Rankings [Grierson & Leitch] (deadspin.com)
- Take Two Explosions and Call Me in the Morning (movies.nytimes.com)
- Exclusive Poster for THE EXPENDABLES 2 Adds Muscle to “The Last Supper” (collider.com)
- Who is the Best Expendable? – Round 1 (oldgamereviewer.com)
- Teen Talk: Nothing serious about “The Expendables 2″ (swrnn.com)
- Dolph Lundgren’s Wild Ride (thedailybeast.com)
- The Expendables 2: Movie Review (screencrave.com)
- Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jason Statham had fun making The Expendables 2 (arts.nationalpost.com)
- Dolph Lundgren Talks ‘The Expendables 2′, ‘Duke Nukem’ & ‘He-Man’ (screenrant.com)