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The Expendables 2 (2012)
"E2" - it is definitely not the first (Contains Spoilers!!)
***Please be advised, this review does contain Spoilers!!***
So, the "Expendables 2" .... let me start by saying it isn't the first one by any means. If you are looking for a throw-back to hard-core, violent, over-the-top, ridiculously unbelievable mindless action, you'll definitely get it with "E2". BUT, here lies the the one big flaw in my opinion- some major characters are deeply underutilized. The great thing about Eric Robert's villain in "E1" is that you love to hate him. He is the epitome of bad-ass- he is slick, crude, bloodthirsty, and totally cool all at the same time. And he did this all without breaking a sweat. Van Damme spends the better part of the movie wearing black shades, driving around in a truck and looking bored. When we finally get to see what Van Damme does best, kickboxing, we get two roundhouse kicks and we're done. And don't get me started on the fact the one female team member gets a 2-second fight scene. Can we get Gina Carano for the next one?! I went into this one expecting full 80's action hero overload- I wanted to feel like my head would explode from all of that old-school testosterone on the screen. While I did ultimately get it, it came extremely late, and not until the climax of the movie.
If you are a true fan of some of these actors, expect to be disappointed when you either only see them for 10 minutes of the movie, OR, their characters do not live up to their full potential. I feel like I was lied to in order to get me in a seat, and the truth is, I would of purchased a ticket even if half of these guys were in it. Maybe this has something to do with Stallone not directing this time, or maybe it was simply the side effect of trying to give the fans more than a movie with a run time of 1 hour and 42 minutes could handle. Perhaps the powers-that-be behind the rumored "E3" can benefit from watching "The Avengers" a bit closer if they plan to balance their star power a little better next time around. Don't get me wrong, I loved the action and the witty banter, but it wasn't enough to make this a fully formidable follow-up to a movie which returned us to the glory of the old days!!
Of special mention is a hilarious exchange between Schwarzenegger and Willis during the final shoot out.