My daughter and I really enjoyed the The Expendables two summers ago. It turned out to be my daughter's (17 years old) favorite movie. Shocking to me considering the stars of the movie were action stars when I was her age. What wasn't to love though if you enjoy a good action flick that puts the plot where it needs to be... the back seat. The Expendables wasn't a great movie, but it was a seriously fun ride. Seeing Stallone, Willis and Swartzenager all on screen at the exact same time was just BONUS!
When news that the inevitable sequel was is production and that not only would we see MORE of Willis and Swartzenager, but also Chuck Norris and Van Damn; quite simply we were excited - SIGN US UP! We knew the movie would again be short on plot while heavy on action. We didn't care, that's what we wanted!
Did it deliver? Mostly.
Like many sequels to films that offer up something new or exciting, the 2nd one never has the same luster as the first. The only scene in The Expendables with Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger was a sight to behold. It was short on dialouge but heavy on nostaligia. This time around we get several scenes with all three of them - plus some and the luster is somewhat dulled. The lack of plot actually hurts here as the only thing they really have to talk about - is nothing at all. So you get lots of one liners.
I love one liners, don't get me wrong. Here though the one liners are rather re-hashed and obvious; but heck it's an action film, i'm not expecting The Godfather Part 4. At one point you have one of our heros quiping at Schwarzenegger that he will be "terminated" if he doesn't return his gun to him the way he got it. Later Schwarzenegger quips, as every action hero has his/her chance to save the day, "where's Rambo?"
The action scenes at times are very contrived and the way our heroes are saved a few times stretches the imagination to the breaking point. For example, midway through the film our heroes our hopelessly outgunned, running out of ammo and wondering how are they going to get out of their current mess. Just as it all seems all is lost - they are saved. How? I won't ruin it, but when the smoke clears you may find yourself asking - really? The writers were off that day is all that came to mind for me.
There is plenty to love about this movie and it is one you need to see in the theater with a good sound system, you just need to know what you are going to see. It's not Lord of the Rings. It's not The Dark Knight Returns. It's not The Avengers or The Amazing Spiderman. It's a big budget action flick that was ripped from time & space and dropped in 2012. It appears that while in those movies the writers got their fair share of the budget, in this flick the writers were getting scraps. The effects folks fared a little better.
Don't go if you are expecting to see all the action stars on screen for the whole film, but you do get them more this time around. This is a Stallone and Statham flick. Which is good because they have chemistry. The rest of the cast is either side dishes or seasoning.
What would I rate this flick? It's a fun ride so I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It's not a must see movie; but you won't feel like you were robbed when you lighten your wallet for tickets, popcorn and a drink. Okay, you might feel like you were robbed for the popcorn and drink, but that's not Stallone's fault is it?
My daughters review - "I liked the first one better, but this one was fun."
Oh, if you haven't seen The Expendables, it's not necessary viewing - but it will make seeing this one far more enjoyable.
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