Friday, December 14, 2012

The Expendables 2

Directed by Simon West.

2012. Rated R, 103 minutes.
Chuck Norris
Nan Yu
Charisma Carpenter

Everything goes boom. There’s really not much more description or explanation needed. This is a movie simply about everything going boom and the guys we love to watch make stuff go boom making stuff go boom. We have plenty of holdovers from the original. Since he’s the creator of both of these homages to the 1980s, Sylvester Stallone once again plays our fearless leader. Joining him again are current action king Jason Statham, former straight-to-video action king Dolph Lundgren, martial arts legend Jet Li, Terry Crews and Randy Couture. Expanding their cameos from the first flick are The Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mr. Die Hard himself, Bruce Willis. Also joining in on the fun are “the muscles from Brussels” Jean-Claude Van Damme and the man who doesn’t do push-ups but instead pushes the Earth down, Chuck Norris.

How the hell didn’t this movie not have a part for Steven Segal? Well, he possibly ate himself out of a role. And again, no Carl Weathers? Did Ivan Drago…ahem…Dolph Lundgren really kill him during that boxing match where James Brown performed “Living in America?” Woo. Good Gawd. Jump back. Kiss myself! Hey! May the Godfather of Soul rest in peace. Sorry. Got off track for a moment.

There is the basic construct of a story here. As you may recall from the original, Sly and the guys whose names I dropped in the first group are kinda, sorta like The A-Team. By the way, since another major draw is our familiarity with and nostalgia for the actual actors and their past work, we won’t be using any character names here. The youngest guy on the squad decides the life of a merc is not for him. . He’ll finish out the month then go home to settle down with his girl and raise a family. If you don’t know how that works out in action flicks, think of him this way: in another movie he’d be a cop with only a few weeks until retirement. In other words, he’ll need to be avenged. He meets his fate during a mission the boys get sent on by Bruce Willis. They don’t want to do it, but Sly owes Bruce a solid. Their job is to grab hold of a thingamajig from the wreckage of a downed plane and bring it back. Of course, that doesn’t go as planned since Van Damme and his evil cronies show up to get their grubby little paws on it. Yes, Van Damme is a villain. He’s a pretty good one, in fact. Anyhoo, that’s about as specific as I’m going to get. From there, our heroes trying to retrieve the thingamajig and avenge their fallen brethren ensues.

The Expendables 2 is a dumb, fun action flick sure to give your surround sound system a workout. It’s even better than its predecessor because there’s not nearly as much downtime so we can get to know the boys. They all pop in, shoot stuff and/or fight while either themselves or someone else makes a reference to one of their old movies, or their persona in general, as a joke. For instance, a large percentage of Arnie’s dialogue is made up of him telling whoever is within earshot “I’ll be back.” You should understand this to mean this flick takes itself even less seriously than its predecessor and is therefore closer to what I thought that movie would be. Without question, this is a “turn your brain off” experience starring a group of guys who made a pretty good living making stuff go boom. In other words, it's so bad it's awesome!

MY SCORE: -10/10

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