Sunday, November 25, 2012

Expendables 2 (2012)

JohnnyTwoToes tells you why he loves this superstar Actionfest

The simplest way to describe Expendables 2 is that if you liked the first film (I did), then you will love the second. This time, in addition to the rest of the A list cast (Stallone, Lundgren, Statham, Li, Couture, Willis & Schwarzenegger) we are treated to Chuck Norris, Liam Hemsworth, Terry Crews, rising B-film action star Scott Adkins and Jean Claude Van Damme (who apparently refused the first part) playing the main baddie. There is also Nan Yu, the lone female in the ensemble cast as Maggie an operative for Church (Willis). 

This time, the mission of the mercenary group is to retrieve a hard drive from a special safe inside a plane wreck in hostile territory near Russia. Once Van Damme steals the hard drive, it is payback time for Barney Ross (Stallone) and his demolishing crew. One thing is for sure, action buffs will not be disappointed. Expendables 2 is nothing that will change your life but it serves its purpose as an entertaining 100 minutes of solid action. 

The film starts with a rousing opening sequence in which the team rescues Trench (Schwarzenegger) from a rat's nest in the middle of Nepal, reminiscent of early 80s and 90s action films. Trench it seems was there to rescue a Chinese billionaire which re-introduces the character we saw briefly from the first film. 

From there, the film jumps back to the States where Church (Willis) pays Barney (Stallone) a visit. "You owe me $5 million. I told you would pay me back and this is it, " growls Church. Don't look for much depth in this film. It is not that kind of film, however the Booker character (Chuck Norris) adds some levity. "I thought you were dead," Barney states, "I heard you were bitten by a cobra." Yea, and after five long days of pain and agony......the cobra died," Booker responds with a paper thin smirk. 

The film has a number of humorous one liners like these and the script penned by Stallone and Richard Wenk wisely spreads them out to all of the characters. Stallone also has given the directing chair over to Simon West. West is a British director who helmed other fine action films like Tomb Raider, Con Air and more recently The Mechanic (also starring Statham). Stallone directed the first film but reportedly opted out for more time to hone the script. 

The surprise here no doubt is Jean Claude Van Damme as Vilain (yes, that's his name in the movie). After a string of dull celluloid action flicks, it is refreshing to see him back and he does a fantastic job of playing a cool, remorseless baddie. 

Most films are made for different reasons but this one is meant for action fans. Expendables 2 is pure, solid, balls to the wall action with style and energy to burn. There is a real effort to entertain and it did that for me. Will it appeal to everyone? Probably not, but if you are in the mood for some slambang first grade action, check Expendables 2 out. Its a great watch!


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