Expendables 2 is much less expendable

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Expendables 2 2012Richard Wenk,Sylvester Stallone,Ken Kaufman,David AgostoSimon WestSylvester Stallone,Bruce Willis,Arnold Schwarzenegger,Jean-Claude Van Damme,Chuck Norris,Scott Adkins,Jason Statham,Liam Hemsworth,Dolph Lundgren,Jet Li,Randy Couture,Terry Crews,Charisma Carpenter,Nikolette Noel,Nan Yu Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Expendables 2(2012)

The first “Expendables” was… Um, expendable… There were nary an establishing shot and even less of a great one-liner that I can recall. After some time, and a great many reviews telling Stallone what he did wrong, we have part deux of this “gather all the great oldies and put them in one film” themed movie. This time, Stallone took note. He still did whatever he thought was a good idea in the first film, but he laced it with what we all knew was missing.

When we watch “Expendables” or “Expendables 2” we wish for the poor performances of these former action stars to give us that one, unintentional, one-liner that we will quote for years. Randy Couture is completely useless and unwanted in these films. Thankfully Couture is given almost no lines in this sequel. Jet Li is not in the film for long. Despite his inability to deliver a punchline in English we didn’t want him gone completely. In this film, he vanishes before the first act is up.

The script is subpar, but this isn’t an issue. We get what we want from almost everyone in the film. These former action stars can say serious, and sometimes not-so-serious lines, in a recognizable manner. The story never really mattered unless it got in the way of this cast and the charisma was ruined.

Jean-Claude Van Damme was great, though a tad underused, in this sequel. His delivery is painful and awkward, but in the ways we hoped. Schwarzenegger’s appearances are always great. The one time it sounded “old” the script was clever enough to make it into a joke and it worked. Norris is in this and while at first his appearance seems forced it really does work in a humorous way towards the end.

Stallone doesn’t ever give us a great one-liner, but that might be because he tied himself to Statham, which has frankly become a joke of himself at this point. We may or may not get a third film, but this does fill the void of testosterone driven, male led, feature films of the ‘80s that we’ve all missed.

There are many photographical issues that the Director of Photography should be a tad ashamed of, but the film does succeed in that it entertains. Never in the two films did we think it would be great, but at the very least we want to leave the theater entertained and with at least one good one-liner to repeat. This sequel succeeds where the other one failed.

Check it out. Don’t take it serious. Have fun while it lasts.

P.S. Nan Yu is a surprisingly welcome addition to the cast.


Official website:
Expendables 2

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