16 September 2012

Film: The Expendables 2

Thoughts: The direction is adequate, the explosions are big and actually kinda infrequent, and the acting is reduced to homages, quips and gimmicks. Basically, The Expendables 2 is the best brain-off film you can currently see. I've seen it twice now and I still haven't figured out what the hell was going on. If you grew up with these relics of former greatness like I did, you'll have a hell of a time. If you like lots of blood 'n killin' n' 'splosions, you'll have a hell of a time. If you don't relate to any of the above, then you probably weren't going to see the film anyway, so move along and let us enjoy it.

The plot consists of something about a downed plane carrying intel about Uranium somewhere in Russia or something, so our intrepid Expendables are sent to investigate. On arrival though they are ambushed by MOTHER-FUCKING JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME and have to fight their way to him for revenge, and to save the world and stuff.

Now the film hits all the marks it needs to; no more, no less. There's a massive fight before the title credits, and a massive fight at the end. There's a fairly extensive lead-up to the end fight with some good hand-to-hand village combat, and a bit of gunning with an unexpected ally, but that's it. The distance between the end fight and the opener is quite large, and we're forced to endure bad dialogue, hammy acting (if you could call it that) and plot mechanics that you could care less about. You know The Expendables are gonna save the day, so why bother with the formalities? Sure, get the story moving and so forth, but do you REALLY have to spend so much time mincing with the mechanics? I don't personally think so.

Regardless, the film entertains and excites, on about the same level as the first. In my opinion, the pacing of the fights was a bit off, and I don't think there was adequate space given to each member. In fact, I believe a lot of them got seriously short-changed. Statham is absent for most of the film, and Crews and Couture don't get to do much at all. Li is shuttled off after the cold open, but I'd say that has something to do with contracts or time constraints. And unfortunately for me, Van Damme only gets one fight at the end, the rest is all plot annoyances. At least he does the part of Crazy Villain really well.

Of course, the sub roles are beefed up, with Schwarzenegger, Willis and Norris coming in hard with lots to do, and personal favourite Scott Adkins (Ninja, Undisputed 3; Redemption) shows up to take care of business. Basically, the film does everything it came to do, and no more, and no less. I'm relaly looking forward to a blu-ray viewing, because in both my cinema experiences the picture was both very grainy and very, VERY soft. Either way, get into it action lovers!


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