The Expendables 2: Pure Onscreen Testosterone
Arnold SchwarzeneggerBruce Willis...
Action & Adventure
In 1 Cinema
The Expendables 2 in a nutshell: every former action hero on the face of the
planet joins forces to kill baddies and blow stuff up.
Just kidding, there’s a tiny bit more to it than that. To
repay a debt, Church (Willis), Ross (Stallone) and his team jet off to retrieve
a top secret device from a safe somewhere halfway across the world.
Unfortunately for them, but very fortunately for us, Vilain (Van Damme) shows
up, kills Bill (Hemsworth) –
the youngest, cutest guy on Ross’ squad – steals the device
and scarpers leaving Ross hell bent on avenging Bill’s death in the loudest,
flashiest, most violent way possible.
Hemsworth gives the best performance in the whole film; he’s
practically the only cast member who knows how to emote. Statham doesn’t have the acting talent while Stallone, courtesy of his
terrible surgeon, is physically incapable of moving his face. And
unfortunately, like every other highlight of the movie, Hemsworth isn’t in it
for long. Li for example, is only in the film for one scene, but it’s a serious
contender for the most badass fight in action history. He makes beating up
people with a frying pan look as lethal as fighting with a ten inch blade and
knuckledusters. And then you have Chuck Norris who is hilarious with
a string of self-referential jokes.
If there’s one thing
that rivals the bullet-count, it’s the one-liners
and film references. The Expendables 2 has
the cheesiest puns in the history of humankind (only a slight exaggeration) and
it relies overtly on its cast’s action hero legacies. Some actors pull it off
better than others; Norris, as previously mentioned, pulls it off
with aplomb while Schwarzenegger, whose role revolves
almost entirely around Terminator
references, is far less successful.
As for the explosions, gunshots and general carnage; there’s nothing particularly special about the
visuals, camerawork or fight choreography – there’s only a couple of memorable
fights but even those don’t stand up to most of the actors’ other work. But in
all its ridiculousness, this sequel is a decent amount of
fun. It wastes no time whatsoever in cutting to the chase and busting out the
guns and in that respect, it definitely isn’t lacking. But even though the film
is populated with megastars, it suffers from a severe lack of personality.
Stallone and Statham, the film’s main duo, are irritatingly bland, and the Rocky star, along
with Schwarzenegger, often borders on incomprehensible. Van Damme in comparison
is the personification of charisma but even he, as the film’s big villain,
isn’t in the film much.
It isn’t the brain-meltingly amazing action movie it should
have been, but it’s still fun – even if the majority of the cast are coasting
on their former glory.