Movie Review: The Expendables 2
The Expendables 2 (2012)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Liam Hemsworth
Directed By: Simon West
The sequel to 2010’s The Expendables is bigger, louder, and bloodier than its predecessor. Arguably the best action movie of the year, Stallone’s continuing tale of a mercenary team struggling with the concept of life and death is sure to be an contender for best picture.
The Expendables 2 wears it’s old-school 80’s action tropes like a badge of honor. In many ways, this is the film that the first movie should have been. With a few exceptions (*COUGH* Stephen Segal*COUGH*), nearly every major action star of the 80’s and 90’s makes an appearance, and they all are in on the tone of the movie. The first ten minutes alone are better than the finale of the first film.
Following the events of the first film, Barney Ross’ (Stallone) crew are called into action by the mysterious Mr. Church (Willis), who says they “owe him a favor”. Traveling to a mysterious European country, they encounter Vilain (Van Damme, having a blast playing the bad buy), a mad man with nearly 50 tons of Plutonium. After killing their youngest member (Liam Hemsworth), the Expendables go after Vilain on a quest for vengeance (and to stop Vilain from selling the plutonium). Along the way they get a little help from Trench (Schwarzenegger), Church, and even Chuck f%$*&ng Norris.
As I’ve already mentioned, Expendables 2 isn’t going to win any awards come Oscar season, but it’s a blast to see, especially if you’re a fan of old school action movies. Seeing Stallone, Arnold, Willis, and Norris on the same screen blasting away nameless goons is a lot of fun, and Stallone and Van Damme’s throw down is one of the highlights of the film, even if it is a little too short for my liking. Van Damme is a great bad guy, even if his accent sometimes adds some unintentional hilarity to his lines. Director Simon West (of Con Air fame) ably handles the multitude of characters on the screen, and makes from some truly impressive action set pieces. Summer may be over, but The Expendables 2 sure made it go out with a bang.