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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am 35 years old, a rather early age, but today when i saw a transport
aircraft successfully land inside a mine, i can confidently say- Dear
God, I have seen it all. I have seen the hammiest group of currently
senior citizen actors in the history of moviedom to get together for a
sequel of an already poor film to deliver something worse. Sylvester
Stallone and his gang of bulletproof mercenaries with a fondness for
taking on medium sized foreign armies are back again in The Expendables
2, and the only good thing in the flick is the concept.
Like its predecessor, Expendables 2 is a 80s action flick starring grizzled veterans of that era- the idea of seeing these ageing guys who just don't want to take their retirement benefits is better off as a concept only, than any actual movie. True, the mere thought of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis and Norris firing away to glory in the SAME frame is stuff of wet dreams for most action fanboys- but only in concept, in dreams- in reality, when these 60+ fellas strut their stuff now, more than the body count, the profound thoughts that float in and out of the mind are mostly around who has done the better skin-lift, or who has the best hairdo, or the most effective botox shots or even the best body double.
For the records, there is a plot- and it is as clichéd as any action movie goes. As the first mission, the expendables put down a militia somewhere in the world, and the second mission gets personal- a team member gets killed and plutonium gets stolen, and all is left to our heroes to save the world, in addition to taking revenge. The really old gang of Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, and Dolph Lungdren are joined by new mate Liam Hemsworth and "combat proficient" Yu Nan. Willis, and Schwarzenegger do more than just talk this time round, and are joined by another veteran who went "missing in action" in the 80s Chuck Norris. Keep it simple seems to be the mantra here- in reverence to their age, the Expendables fashionably hang out at a bar called The Old Point, even their transport aircraft is WW2 vintage, and the villain of this set piece, Jean Claude Van Damme is cleverly named Villain, too. Stallone looks like a genetic experiment gone hideously wrong and his old age must be the reason he doesn't see Yu Nang batting eyelids at him throughout. These "has beens" speak exclusively in punchlines from their older movies. And when Stallone goes philosophical ("Why is it the ones who deserve to die keep on living?") and Dolph Lungren is the film's comic relief, you got to fear for your sanity. Quite late in the movie though- Arnold unintentionally utters the sole truthful line in the movie- " We all belong to a museum".
The Expendables begin with a normally over the top rescue mission in Nepal where they blow up seemingly, the entire Nepalese army, to smithereens. There is a ropeway shootout, a speedboat chase and armoured truck race lasting all about 15 minutes, and all culminating in the opening credits. This is the point where if we are in a mall, it would be the best time to actually step out, do some shopping, eat a bit, look at beautiful women- do something useful, because the next hour is perhaps the most boring hour in the history of action movies, and that includes all the solo actioners these guys have ever featured. You could make your way back in time for the even more over the top climactic 15 minutes, and my take is you would have probably seen the entire action director Simon West has got in store for you in this movie, which though is deliciously graphic, but falls short both in quantity and quality. True, heads gets splattered, limbs get decapitated, there are creative knife throwing sequences, lots of things eventually explode, van Damme roundhouses, Arnold and Willis do manage to fit into a SmartCar, and the heroes cheerfully grin and chomp cigars nonchalantly gunning down thousands, but nothing is memorable. Even the final bare knuckle fistfight between Stallone and Van Damme is an insult to memories of Rocky, Rambo and Bloodsport- they talk more than they fight and in that they resemble my kind- the civilized Bengali (ever seen Bongs fight?).
Jokes apart It probably hurts me more than anyone else because am a big time action fan and the 80s spawned some of the most unabashed movies in that genre. But with due respect, the last thing i wanted was memories of my childhood getting sullied by the atrocities of actors who still do not know their time is up.
Well then, its a travesty all right, and definitely not recommended. There is precious little of action, intelligence, wit and all things good that we expect out of a movie, and i am genuinely surprised at the positive opinions this movie has gathered till date. According to me Expendables 2 is forgettable, and sadly so -5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wanna thank Sly for his hard work at keeping the 80s action alive.
You can tell he has put his whole heart into this project. And this
time he really has EVERYONE on board. Not an easy task.
The cast is great. Arnold, Couture, Chuck Norris and Van Damme are hilarious. Dolph Lundgren is awesome too, and he proves that he actually can act. Statham is great as an angry British mercenary. Sly is wearing different clothes in every scene and i think he is also wearing a wig. He is macho, with make-up and rude to the ladies. He is way too serious in this movie.
The action is WAY BETTER than in Expendables Pt 1. You can now understand what is going on, who is where (no shaky cam).
The plot is ridiculous and i'm fine with that.
What bothers me is the senseless violence in Expendables 2. It's just shocking. It is not cool, Commando-type funny violence. It is pure gore, ugly and disturbing. Totally unnecessary. There is no explanation who is the enemy. Or what are they fighting for? The Expendables shows no respect for human life. It is all a shoot-them-up video game.
I cannot recommend this movie to anyone under 18.
Movie was centered around Stallone, who happened to be a screen writer
as well. The character distribution time was unevenly divided. No
character development......none. Characters conveniently appeared when
the horrible director best saw fit, but gave no justification or
reasoning on how that character arrived at the scene. Cinematography
might as well be compared to movies shot in the 80's.
Statham was excellent, but given limited time. Arnold's catch phrases became repetitive. Where the heck was Jet Li? If you like guys with guns (most mindless people do) and killing then this movie is for you; keep in mind all the action looks fake.
Reminds me of Indian movies where crazy scenarios and sequences are taking place, yet you just shake your head (no pun intended) because you know it's an Indian movie.
I have more to say but it's not worth my time, so I leave you with the moral of the story. If the main star of the movie happens to be a screenwriter, producer, or director.... the movie will be centered around them and take away from the quality of the movie. Thank You Tom Cruise (MI4) for allowing Stallone to have confidence in making this trash again .
PS....Seeing Stallone run was horrific.
If the formula worked the first time, then it has to work a second time right? Hell-to-the-No! The plot of 'Sly and the Boys Part Deux,' is as pedestrian as a Kardashian! The Expendables are strong-armed into undertaking a mission. During this mission they encounter a roundhouse kicking villain. Villain makes The Expendies angry. The Expendies foil the villain's plan and in the end the balance is restored. I've scene better plots in newspaper comic strips of Marmaduke. The one-liners are hilariously senile but reminiscent of the good ol' 80's Action Flick. The acting is a smorgasbord of wooden performances. Stallone and Statham try to give the film some heart but Arnie and Willis are just a ludicrous odd couple. Norris is proof that even after acting for forty four years, the guy is still unable to act. With the box office success of the first film you'd think that the sequel would have better action scenes and special effects, but sadly those aspects of filmmaking appear to be expendable. Director Simon West does what he was hired to do, which is bring script to screen but it is a forgettable effort. Van Damme is certainly the stand-out of this film. With his "big legs and karate" and also his acting abilities (compared to his peers), JCVD is back at least for a little while.
After watching the 1st expendables, I have a mixed but positive feeling
about the series. Seeing these heroes from my past doing actions
altogether is kind of reliving and refreshing their hypes and legends.
I can say The Expendables is a good action movie and while it satisfies
me in a certain level (not to the max), it delivers and makes me hungry
for more, at least a trilogy.
So I came to theater with high expectation and sadly, the Expendables 2 is quite a disappointment for me. Somehow, it feels like a B-movie action comedy parody. Some scenes are suppose to be awesome but turn into cheesy ones instead. For example, when Van Damme killed one of the good guys, he made Adkins hold a dagger in front of that guy chest and then doing a turning kick........So? do we supposed to see it in disbelief or say "Wow?"
When Sly's (almost) full team is ambushed and cornered, someone secretly helped them by wipe out all their enemies, blowing up a tank/heavy artillery in just seconds, and then he (an action legend) show up (famous whistle from cowboy movies plays in background) while Sly's said "Don't freak...don't freak" - carrying only a semi automatic rifle..(???) I admit it's a funny scenes but quite a parody. Then, almost in the end of the movie, all of those action legend are showing up - I know they're up to something - and yes, everyone of them get a healthy dose of shooting weapons and killing enemies. Those poor bad dudes are nowhere to be found in the previous part of the film and probably are there in the last part so everyone in good guy team can contribute about 50 kills/each.
I'm expecting more duel than Expendables, but in here, there are only two duel and one of them is not worth to mention, I look for more hand to hand combat than the 1st series which both side are hurt, torn apart but in the same time they grow respect for each other skills. But it's just a plain nasty bad guys vs cool hero stuff, both throwing bullets I expect...well a lot of things but undelivered except seeing those legends and remembering how they have entertained me in the past. And I don't think I'll be excited for the 3rd installment now. And strangely, Jet Lee give better impact on me in his limited screen time than that Chinese girl who replaces him throughout the film.
So, if you want to watch this and still enjoy it, you should lowered your expectation. It's not like the 1st installment. Sorry for my English (4/10)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How to find enough words to explain this failure in ten lines, Well that's one anyway. A Disaterous piece of crap no real storyline and the best acting performance comes from Van Damme? A waste of time is about the kindest thing you can say about this. The first installment was over the top but it had some great action sequences and a storyline that was not completely ridicules. This however might as well have been one massive explosion from start to end, but apparently that's what people like nowadays - Do not worry about acting performance or even a slightly plausible storyline, do not even worry about crappy camera work or stupid cgi and lighting effects as long as you blow up enough stuff and splatter enough heads.....
As well as the first one, this is walking, shooting, crackling jokes
tribute to those guys instead of the real action flick(if we can
generally call action flick "real"). This is my biggest problem with
this franchise. We always wanted to see those guys together, no
question about it, but here they are not playing any characters at all.
Arnold is no Trench. Who is Trench? Who is Church? Those are Arnold in
Hawaiian t shirt and Bruce. And what they did to Dolph Lundgren in this
movie for crying out loud? He acts like a character from bugs bunny
cartoon in this film.
Even Sly's and Statham's parts aren't shaped in any distinctive way, they just have more lines to deliver.
As for people like Crews, Couture and Li, they are barely in the picture at all. And lets not even mention Norris.
I remember when I saw Li in Lethal Weapon 4 in cinema back in 98'. Now THAT was fun movie, and great villain by the way.
I don't mind a movie to be simple plot-wise, Rocky 4 was also simple plot-wise, but Stallone PLAYED Rocky, and Lundgren PLAYED Drago, those were specific characters, and not Sly with mustache and Dolph acting like a crazy version of himself(with endless reference to him really having Masters Degree in chemical engineering).
Only Van Damme is playing some coherent part here, and we don't just feel that Van Damme is in the movie as Van Damme rather we see a new bad guy, and that is good. But even here, again, script is so poor in terms of any character development that we really don't know him very much also. Van Damme himself presented his part in many interviews as a guy who is crazy, will not be stopped by anyone etc etc. but we don't feel/see it in a movie, his part is simply too short. Yet he was the best thing in this.
What I liked is this nostalgia factor about those older famous guys, but this feeling took over whole flick, and that's why it wasn't really exciting.
Too bad, I really like those guys.
You don't feel the testosterone in The Expendables 2 as much as immerse
yourself in it, whether you like it or not. It manages to be awesome on
several levels a frantic action movie, a self-deprecating comedy,
okay, that's about it. But still! Explosions that make sense! The
mocking of catch phrases! Great casting that doesn't feel forced!
Stallone not in the director's chair! Yes, there's so much to like
about the movie that we can overlook a lot of clichés and hammy
performances. Let's look at the plot. Barney Ross (Stallone) and his
team, having bilked Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) out of $5 million in the
first movie, now have to make amends. No, Church doesn't have them
tossed into Gitmo, and he doesn't kill them. Instead, he gives them a
mission, the accomplishment of which would make them all even-Steven.
The mission involves an infiltration into the jungles of Albania to rescue a secret something (a MacGuffin) from a downed airplane. Things don't go as expected. Ross and his team lose not only the MacGuffin but also one of their own. Tearfully, they vow revenge.
Ross's team consists of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Bill the Kid (Liam Hemsworth). Church inexplicably adds another member to their team a soldier/intel expert named Maggie (Nan Yu). She may have been the second MacGuffin.
The team tracks the bad guys to a series of secret mines in old Russia, where apparently a metric buttload of uranium exists for the taking. The bad guys, led by the well-named Villain (Jean-Claude Van Damme), plan to grab all of the unguarded uranium and, presumably, either hold the world hostage or just blow it up. We're not told, because it hardly matters.
Now, this may not be the best of films. You won't find a truly intricate plot, even by Mission:Impossible standards. It is what it purports to be: men blowing stuff up with lots of weapons. At least this time there's a woman involved, but you can guess one of the reasons she's there. In any event, the stunts are exhilarating to watch and the action is intense, but what makes the film is the deft, complementary comedy. Church versus Ross. Ross versus Trench (Arnold Schwarzeneggar, yes). Trench versus Church. The movie is, in its entirety, a nod to the mindless action movies of the 80s in which many of these fellas appeared. Catchphrases from those old movies are mocked. Everyone looks bad ass, so much so that you forget that guys like Stallone and Schwarzeneggar are in their sixties.
It was exciting to see the oldtimers in the first film, and this one adds some new (old) blood. Hemsworth, although not as ripped as his brother Chris, is terrific. Oh, and did I mention that a certain Chuck Norris is in this? I am not making this up. He's in it. I love how he's referred to as a lone wolf, a nod to his movie Lone Wolf McQuade, or that his character is named Booker, a nod to his movie Good Guys Wear Black. I wish he'd been able to do some martial arts, but the man's 70 years old, so I guess we can cut him some slack.
This is a manly man movie. There's a lot of blood, many guns, lots of scars in the making. There is no romance, barely some flirting. You wouldn't expect that, anyway. The Expendables 2 delivers what it promises it's a whipped-up frenzied concoction of old-school action movies with a generous sprinkling of creativity (in script and in cinematography).
So that's why I liked the movie. Blood, guts, witty repartee, that about does it for me when I want not to think. You won't need to think here. Watch it your brain will appreciate the rest.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Now I enjoyed the original Expendables for what it was but I was felt
disappointed in the outcome because of the way it was hyped up and I
felt a lot of things could have made it better, and that things were
missing. Now years later, watching the Expendables 2 and not having as
such high expectations I went into the film excited and thrilled for
surprises. I also did not read any reviews or check critics ratings
upon watching. I found this to be greater than the original for many
reasons. The plot was more focused, the characters were more detailed
(we got to like them more), and mainly because of the more well
directed intense action scenes.
The film is separated into two parts. The first 45 or so minutes showing their plans on where to go. Focusing on Billy (Liam Hemsworth), and roughly the second half of the film is of course where we see his departure. Maggie steps in and takes a major role. I found both parts solid, yet the second half more interesting simply because we see the characters mesh more, and Arnold, Willis, and Chuck Noris get larger roles providing well in dept action and fight scenes.
This is one of those few exceptions where the sequel is better than the original. The Expendables was quite serviceable in my opinion, but it never really lived up to the potential of what could have been with the dream team cast it touted. This time however The Expendables take on a whole new attitude. The violence is more non stop and well delivered by the camera shots, there are more fight scenes, shootouts and the final battle fight between Stallone and Van Damme. However one thing I could have done with out is the several references to past 80's action films (Arnold saying "I'm back!/ Yippie- Ki-yay/Who's next-- Rambo!", etc). Mainly because his delivery was flat. Other than that, the Expendables 2 is a solid action thrilled popcorn film and delivers for its time being. We will see how the Expendables 3 turns out!
I'm giving this eight stars mostly because I like seeing the action heroes of my youth together in one film. I sorely missed Mickey Rourke though, who I thought was great in the first film. There has been a trend in the last decade or two of making movies with pretty but petite heroines who blow away all opponents. Kate Beckinsale in the "Underworld" series comes to mind here. It seems utterly ridiculous to expect a woman weighing perhaps 100 lbs to defeat well-armed men who are 200 plus pounds. This movie gave me the same feeling but for the reason that the heroes were old men, some of whom probably have trouble getting through a round of golf while using a golf cart. I wonder how long they can keep this up and still attract movie goers.
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