Film Review: The Expendables 2
The expectations you have going into The Expendables 2 will not be disappointed. In fact you might just be surprised at the amount fun you find yourself having when the bullet-flying, bloody action begins and the self-deprecating quips are delivered.
Yes, they’re old, worn down actors. Yes, the plot barely holds itself together to make any sense. And yes, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are less coherent than ever before. But none of this seems to matter when this ragtag team of testosterone-filled 80’s heroes travel the globe showing just how badass they still are.
To be clear, this action-packed flick may not be for everyone, but fans of the star-studded cast will be in heaven, finding in front of them a proper ode to these classic action heroes. The writers didn’t put too much thought into the script and nor should they. Expendables 2 isn’t about character development or narrative inventiveness. It’s about kicking ass, blowing up things, and spending time in the comfort of a darkened theater watching our ’80s action icons do what they do best.
As for the plot…well, who needs a stinkin’ plot anyway. The Expendables are out for revenge and what else matters? The film opens with an extended 15-minute action packed siege, satisfying the audiences early desire for explosions, gunshots, and whole lot of old-timer ass kicking. Pausing the fight for a second, the group rescues Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from captivity from legions of soldiers occupying a Nepalese village. Later, Stallone is asked to recover a package where the mission goes sour and a team member dies. This causes the hired guns to go into high-octane revenge mode – (and cue the carnage).
The camaraderie is a bit less masculine-laden this time, with the addition of codebreaker Maggie (Nan Yu) to the gang. She’s there per the orders of CIA agent Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), to whom Barney (Stallone) owes a debt. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a badass villain with the unsubtle moniker Jean Vilain. Chuck Norris, as always, is a one-man army.
Final Verdict: On the whole, The Expendables 2 is more satisfying than The Expendables. Where the original took itself too seriously, the sequel is more entertainingly cartoonish. With Stallone no longer behind the camera, (replaced by Simon West), the action scenes are better staged and more competently presented. There’s also more humor than in the first installment, poking fun at both themselves and each other. To sum it up, The Expendables 2 does exactly what it’s supposed to do – no more, no less. And since you will go into this movie with a firm understanding of what you’re getting, the sequel is unlikely to disappoint.