Friday, August 17, 2012
The Expendables 2 (2012)
Ah, finally it's here: the sequel to The Expendables! The whole gang is back, this time going up against a terrorist named Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude van Damme and yes, that's really the character's name) who has access to a ton of plutonium and no moral compass when it comes to selling it. After one of their own is killed, Stallone and company embark on a roaring rampage of revenge with help from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis who appeared in the first film briefly and Chuck Norris as a fellow mercenary named Booker who is a one man army.
That's pretty much all the plot you need as the majority of the movie is action scene after action scene and badass moment after badass moment. Stallone and Statham are great together as they were in the first film and Dolph Lundgren gets maybe the best laugh of the movie during a chat about last meals. Let's just say that if Mr. Lundgren invites you to dinner, make sure you find out the menu before you RSVP.
Van Damme is also a highlight as he takes a rather underwritten role and gives him a sleek, cocky streak of viciousness that really makes you want to see Sly beat his brains out. Norris is also fun as his usual silent man of action. Arnold and Bruce are also fantastic in their roles as Willis always brings the quiet menace well and it's really, really nice to see that the former Governator still has the touch. Best of all, he's got a new movie coming out in January that I will definitely check out.
Action is great, as one would expect, with a dynamite opening assault on a military base and a great finale that sees tons of highlights, caped off with a fantastic brawl between Stallone and Van Damme.
There are a few downsides though as the majority of the characters are underwritten and one character in particular is introduced in such a way that his fate (which for the benefit of those wanting to stay spoiler free I will not mention) might as well be posted on a huge neon sign over his head.
That little matter aside, the movie is a fitting follow-up to the original and while it lacks the fresh feel of the first one, it still delivers the action goods. Great action, some good laughs and a great cast. Check it out, it's well worth it. It's basically a Cannon film on steroids, and that's a very, very good thing.