“The Expendables 2” raises the bar for action movies
Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 9, 2012 22:09
If you’re one of those people who saw “The Expendables” and thought that it couldn’t get any more action-packed or filled with more action stars, you were clearly wrong.
After the team finishes up on an earlier mission, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) is confronted by Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) who is disgruntled regarding how they handled their previous assignment. Church gives the team what seems to be an easy in-and-out mission to make up for the last assignment in the previous film.
The team heads off and quickly run into an unexpected enemy (Jean-Claude Van Damme) who wants what the team is after. After one of their own is killed by Van Damme, the Expendables are out on a mission to extract revenge on the one responsible and thwart his plans.
“The Expendables 2” reminded why I love action movies. Going into the film I figured it would be just like the previous one with another mediocre storyline and cool action sequences.
This sequel, however, takes everything that was good about the first one and expands on it, making it twice as intense as its predecessor. The opening sequence of the film alone raises the bar for all action movies. Most action movie lovers will become instantly hooked within the first 10 minutes of the film.
What surprised me the most was how I was never a Jean-Claude Van Damme fan until after this movie. I found that a film such as this can only be as good as its villain, and Van Damme pulls it off very well. He plays a rather mysterious villain whose motivations, aside from financial wealth, are hidden from the audience. This technique works well within a script that understands when less is more.
I was also pleased that the whole cast returned, with the exception of Mickey Rourke, who was never mentioned in the film. This was a minor disappointment, but not entirely detrimental. “The Expendables” add a couple of new people to the crew and the audience gets more screen time with Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The sad thing about that is every scene with Arnold Schwarzenegger was painful to sit through. I am a big Schwarzenegger fan, but his acting really isn’t what it used to be. It felt as if he was just reading lines off a page in a loud voice.
A funny aspect of the film was that many of the characters make references to their previous films such as “I’ll be back,” “Yippie kay-yay,” references of John Rambo, etc. The downside to this was that I think it was a bit overdone and it took you away from the movie.
Overall, I still really enjoyed “The Expendables 2.” Fans of the first one will most definitely love the second, and for those who have not seen the first, I recommend that you see it, but it’s not necessarily a must if you plan on seeing this sequel.
For being one of the better action movies I have seen in quite some time, I give “The Expendables 2” four out of five stars.