Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Expendables 2 review

In The Expendables 2, Sylvester Stallone plays a gay man trying to convince his conservative lover's parents to accept a homosexual lifestyle. Jason Statham plays his lover. This touching film should remind everybody of "The Kids Are All Right." Um, okay that's not the plot. The Expendables 2 is the action packed, don't spare the ammo, sequel to the 2010 movie of the same name. If you suffer from low testosterone, you won't need to see a doctor after watching this movie. But be prepared to endure the geriatric dose.

The movie starts out with the Expendables, a group of mercenaries, attacking a base in Nepal where criminals are holding a Chinese businessman. The Expendables are composed of leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Billy the Kid. (Liam Hemsworth) If there is a Guinness Book of Records for most people killed in the first fifteen minutes of a movie, The Expendables 2 would smash the record. The carnage is so intense that I started to laugh hard after about five minutes. Anyway, after about two hundred guys are killed, leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his partner Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) rescue the businessman and Trench, (Arnold Schwarzenegger) another mercenary.

After a successful return to New Orleans, CIA operative Church (Bruce Willis) has another mission for Ross. The Expendables are to go into Albania to recover a safe from a crashed airplane. On the mission, Yang is replaced by Maggie (Yu Nan) who is an expert in code breaking and computers. When the find the plane, Maggie is able to recover the contents of the safe which is a hard drive which contains the location of of weapons grade plutonium. However, a criminal gang led by Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) intercepts the Expendables and steals the hard drive. Knowing that the safety of the world is at stake, and seeking revenge for the death of a teammate, the Expendables chase Vilain to the mine which contains the plutonium.

Look, everyone involved in this movie know what they've got. You've got an Avengers of eighties action heroes. And with all those manly men, it has gallons of testosterone. But with action heroes from the eighties, it also means they're also old. Director Simon West, writers Richard Wenk and Sylvester Stallone know all of that. There's a lot of humor in this movie, some of it intentional and some of it unintentional. I mean they named the bad guy Vilain. And Billy the Kid's hurting because his old army unit killed his dog. I'm not kidding about that. But the need to cram so much in less than two hours also hurts the movie. I mean Chuck Norris literally pops in from nowhere with no explanation of why he's following the Expendables around. We all laughed at his appearance. And how does that Expendables old seaplane fly into hot spots without the foreign country's radar from detecting them?

While there are some excellent action sequences, one should view The Expendables as a comedy. This time Schwarzenegger and Willis are given guns to shoot. With Arnold, there are nods to Terminator and Total Recall. I laughed hardily when you see Arnold firing his huge machine guns, next to Stallone and Willis also with guns blazing. The Expendables is a one silly, dopey but fun action comedy. The grade is B.

Okay, check out this satirical dig at the franchise. It's The Expendables, the Musical. (Caution clips have comical over the top violence.)

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