Back for plenty of action
The Expendables 2 (2012)
Duration: 103 minutes
Directed by: Simon West
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Yu Nan, Randy Coutre
Back in the 1980s, no film budget could afford the cast of The Expendables.
The first film had produced enough bang and action for one’s buck and saw a return of the 1980s action stars such as Jean Claude Van Damme, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The second outing brings along one of Hollywood’s new faces – Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), more action and, most importantly, both Bruce Willis and Schwarzenegger are given more screen time.
The film sees Barney Ross (Stallone) being given a new assignment by his contact in the CIA, Church (Willis).
A Chinese plane crashed while flying over Albania when carrying a safe that the CIA desperately wants.
Barney has to get the safe back and so the huge debt he has with Church will be written off.
Barney’s crew consists of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Billie “the Kid” Timmons (Liam Hemsworth), Toll Road (Randy Coutre) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews).
Yin Yang (Jet Li) has left the team and is replaced by hi-tech expert Maggie (Yu Nan).
When they find the safe, Barney’s team end up in headlong collision with the villainous Jean Vilain (Van Damme) and his team.
One of Barney’s crew gets killed in the process.
Mercenary Trench (Shwarzenegger) and the solitary Booker (Chuck Norris) also get involved to help Barney settle it out with Vilain.
The Expendables 2 is directed in an efficient machine-gun style by Simon West who is no stranger to action movies with Con Air and The Mechanic to his credit.
He always focuses on two things: the stars and a rising body count.
The film’s strength lies in not taking itself seriously and providing the audience with all the bravado and over-the-top antics that today’s musclemen seem to be afraid to deliver.
Stallone is still the same as ever: he mumbles his way through the film, plays serious as serious can be and bashes heads as if there were no tomorrow.
Schwarzenegger is cool and cheesy, Willis has a good presence while Lundgren hulks around wonderfully. Nothing has changed from the glorious days of the 1980s!
Meanwhile, Statham is the personification of cool while Hemsworth plays the new kid on the block well.
A special mention has to be given to Van Damme who plays the film’s villain. He is not afraid of sending himself up and this is to the film’s advantage.
The film plays out like one of the commando or warlord comic books of my childhood; it has the same kind of dialogue but a higher body count.
The Expendables 2 rises above modern action movies through sheer pluck and bravado and shows that these action heroes are still not fit for their roles.
Roll up The Expendables 3 which should at least include Steven Seagal to really make us all homesick for the days when action was real action!