Monday, August 20, 2012

Shatterblog!: The Expendables 2 Review

Today I went to see The Expendables 2 and decided to share my thoughts on it with all of you. If you've seen the first Expendables movie, you basically know what to expect. It's an adrenaline fueled action flick to the core, and sporting some really impressive names.
All the actors are obviously pretty high caliber stars, and as such the acting is generally solid. The dialogue can be a tiny bit cheesy at times, especially when making references (I counted several Terminator, a Die Hard, a Rambo, and even a Chuck Norris joke, delivered by the man himself). There was a cringe-worthy "I'll be back" bit, but those moments are few and fun enough not to take away from the movie. There are some solid one-liners and decent banter. Nothing side-splitting, but you definitely get the feel that these guys are all pretty close, as soldiers like them are bound to be.
The plot is just strong enough to hold together a whole lot of action sequences. The set up is good, although not particularly original. I won't spoil the particulars, although they telegraph what's going to happen at the beginning pretty thoroughly. There aren't any huge plot holes or glaring problems, although there are a few minor story elements that get a bit ignored. Particularly, the beginning of the movie talks about Statham's character and his fiance getting married, and then that falls away and doesn't get wrapped up in any kind of way. All the important plot points get covered, but as an action movie the story isn't that fantastic. The characters are all pretty well written. I particularly like Statham's "Mr. Christmas" and his many knives, although that may just be because he's my favorite actor in the movie (yes, even over Chuck Norris).
Most importantly of course, the action. There are some really fantastic action sequences befitting the summer blockbuster this is. Jet Li and Jason Statham both have really well choreographed fist fights, and seeing Statham and his throwing knives in action never loses its charm. Stallone has many good shooting and fist fighting scenes, as the main star of the show. However, when Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwartzenneger step into the action, they really steal the spotlight. The scene from the commercials with the SmartCar is pretty fantastic.
While far from a perfect movie, The Expendables 2 is an awesome action movie with good characters and no huge problems. I really enjoyed it from start to finish, even more than the original. However, if you want deep character motivations or an intricate plot, look elsewhere. All you'll find here are explosions and large men killing stuff (Fun fact I noticed in the credits: the same stunt double is used for Liam Hemsworth, an average sized fellow, and Arnold Schwartzenegger, who is enormous. What?). If you like action and enjoy any of the actors in this movie, I recommend it highly. 8.5/10.

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