About The Movie:
The Expendables 2 is a 2012 American ensemble action film directed by Simon West and written by Richard Wenk andSylvester Stallone, based on a story by Ken Kaufman, David Agosto and Wenk. It is a sequel to the 2010 action film The Expendables, and stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Randy Couture, Terry Crews,Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film follows The Expendables, a mercenary group, as they seek revenge against Jean Vilain (Van Damme), a rival mercenary who murders one of their own, and threatens the world with a deadly weapon.
What Is Good About The Movie:
Sprung from the director’s chair, Stallone is free to play alongside his muscled comrades. The whole cast seems to truly embrace the fun this time around, leaning hard on the fantasy of being untouchable superheroes of ass-kicking, rather than the “complex and troubled” individuals the first film foolishly tried to develop them as.
New faces to the franchise – like Hunger Games ‘star’ Liam Hemsworth as a speedy sniper, or Nan Yu as female mercenary, “Maggie” – hold their own against the veterans and manage to be some of the more interesting (meaning, actually formed) characters in the piece – which is completely necessary, as they have no action movie clout to trade on. Jean-Claude Van Damme shows off some improved acting skill (in addition to his still impressive athletic ability), managing to create a memorable and fun villain in just a few key scenes.
Action veterans like Chuck Norris and Scott Adkins join the franchise in some smaller bit roles, but manage to deliver fun or thrilling moments; a self-referential joke from Norris is alone worth the price of admission. Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are given expanded duties in this installment, and together they manage to nearly walk off with the entire film. Seeing the pair onscreen blowing things away and snapping on each other (and Stallone) multiplies the enjoyment factor exponentially; Schwarzenegger in particular seems to be more charismatic than ever, and is a welcome return to the genre.
If you’re not a genre buff, but want to see badass action icons blowing stuff up and beating people down (while pausing now and again to crack a joke), you’ll still have a good time with this film. Those hoping for a deeper, smarter, or more polished piece of action cinema: Sorry, but this franchise has pretty much established it isn’t about that. Best to look elsewhere.
What Is Bad About The Movie:
Expendables 2 is visually and technically coherent enough to set the movie on the exact ground it needs to be: where its cast can dive in with both feet and enjoy playing up their images as onscreen icons of badass. Does that mean the film is a superiorly crafted piece of genre entertainment? No. It’s still an overflowing river of macho-cheese with half a plot, bad acting and some truly shoddy camera work at times – but if vintage macho-cheese is what you’re after, this movie delivers a big heaping plate of it – much more than the first film, if that can be believed – and features some iconically awesome (and hilarious) onscreen moments.
The action in Expendables 2 is like something out of a video game, or a comedy parody of old action flicks. Our heroes fire big guns and blow bodies and property to bits, while never taking a scratch themselves. There’s carnage and mayhem from start to finish, and an elaborate opening sequence quickly establishes that this world of the Expendables is one meant to be enjoyed with a low-brow smile, instead high-brow expectations. Every cast member is given time to inflict bodily harm to faceless hordes of bad guys in his signature way, and it’s hard to imagine any action fan walking out saying, “There wasn’t enough ass-kicking in that movie.”