Get out your guns and your knives and your explodey things, we're reviewing The Expendables 2!
Barney Ross(Sylvester Stallone) gets his rag-tag team together, including Lee Christmas(Jason Statham), Gunner Jensen(Dolph Lundgren), and Hale Ceaser(Terry Crews), to complete what should be an easy mission. But things go horribly wrong when an unnamed villain(Jean-Claude Van Damme) shows up, wrecks their mission and kills one of their team members. They have to find him and seek revenge! Do they have enough guns, knives and explosions to do the job? Spoiler: Yes they do.
I didn't think too much of the first Expendables. It had some action, but was otherwise a jumbled mess. So I was not expecting much from Expendables 2. And then POW BOOM KNIFE SOUND EFFECT SPLOSIONS WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! It's crazy awesome stupid fun. The first five minutes are worth the price of admission alone. Expendables 2 is the best kind of a terrible action movie.
The best way to describe everything in the story and plot and reasons for characters doing things is because FUCK YOU. No really. Why do they have "Coming Soon" written on the from of their big ass truck? Because FUCK YOU that's why. Why does Jean Claude Van Damme not have a name and is a huge evil dick? FUCK YOU that's why. Why is Chuck Norris? FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY. There is no logic and you should expect none. Also don't expect good acting, because they took all the best action stars from the worst action movies and put them in all of the roles. It's especially painful to hear CHuck Norris trying to act, but then, hey look it's CHuck Norris! They don't act, they just pour cheese over the script and set it on fire. There are Terminator jokes, Rambo jokes, hell Chuck Norris makes a Chuck Norris joke. It is ridiculous.
You come to a movie like this for the action, and brother, is there ever action. Just crazy awesome ridiculous bad guy killing action, and it is all great. Remember in the last Expendables when they were doing stuff but none of it mattered? Here they're actually doing stuff and it's cool! And then the stuff explodes! I'm really happy that this has less story and they give more for everyone else to do. Stallone still has the most actiony action, but Terry Crews, Bruce Willis and even Ahnold all get stuff to do. I feel like Jet Li's role is twice as better than it was in the last one, and he ducks out of the movie after twenty minutes. It's crazy and fun and sometimes hilarious.
If Gears of War or Modern Warfare was a movie and had more action, it would be this movie. It's odd how much it feels like a videogame, considering most cinematic action videogames were based on actiony cheesy movies. So this is a cheesy action movie based on cheesy action videogames based on cheesy action 80's and 90's movies. Yeah that about sums it up. I would ask why this isn't a videogame, but it IS a videogame, and apperently not that great a one at that. Sad face.
The flow is surprisingly good. The slow parts are just slow enough to let you catch your breath in between the actiony bits, and there's a lot more actiony bits than slow bits. The score can also be pretty good at times, especially at the end.
The biggest problem I have is with the name. "The Expendables" feels like it should be a movie about a team of 2nd or 3rd tier action sidekicks, most of whom are likely to die so the main action guy can live. The movie in my head would somehow be about them trying to fill the main action role themselves. And I desperately want to see that movie, but that's not this movie. This should be more like, "The leading men" or "The action stars" or "Main guys that would never ever die."
Y'know, if this were attached to some big nerdy franchise, like say G.I. Joe or Transformers, I might be angry at how dumb it is. But since it's its own thing, I'm ok with what it is: a big dumb action movie. It's got great action form beginning to end, with lots of dumb one-liners and a great cast of action stars. I would say you don't need to see the first in order to see the second, in fact it may be better if you only see the second. If you like big dumb action movies, this is the biggest and the dumbest!
THE GOOD: Loads of action, great cast, lots of one-liners, funny and silly, has great flow, guns and explosions and knives oh my.
THE BAD: Really bad acting, not for people who don't like action.
THE VERDICT: $$$$ See it! It's a great summer action movie for those that love summer action movies. Don't expect too much and you'll enjoy it immensely.
MOVIES LIKE IT: The Expendables, Commando, Rambo, True Lies, The Transporter, Crank, Hot Shots
ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: Statham dresses up as a priest and takes a bunch of guys out by throwing knives into the vicinity of their faces while saying, "I now pronounce you man and knife." Why? BECAUSE FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY.