Friday, August 24, 2012

Movie Review: The Expendables 2

If you’re a guy who loves 80’s action cinema, you’ll like The Expendables 2. If you’re a woman who liked beefy 80’s muscles, then this film will make you stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen. 

With a star cast of the hammiest ham hocks ever put together on screen, The Expendables 2 is how The Avengers would be if it were made in the 80’s. From delivering some of the worst ever written lines to flexing every inch of botox laced muscle on their bodies, the heroes of The Expendables 2 make your face meet your palm in the grandest possible manner. You get Sly Stallone, who looks like a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong slurring with the panache of an old uncle trying to impress kids; you get Jason Statham who practically hurts his face trying to keep it straight the whole time; you get Dolph Lundrgen who is so expressionless and inhuman he has now well and truly transformed into the Universal Soldier; Terry Crews, Jet Li and Randy Couture all of whom behave like they are stuck in a party full of drunk old timers. 

Joining in the fun is the ‘villain’, Mister Jean Claude Van Damme, complete with his awesome roundhouse kick, and the duo of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger who have extended roles in this sequel. Without spoiling too much, it is safe to say that Chuck Norris makes the single most entertaining Chuck Norris joke when he arrives in the film. It’s rather difficult to remember what the ‘story’ is, but it has something to do with Barney’s (Stallone) gang of the Expendables being forced by a CIA agent to fly off to Albania for a mission, and ending up pissing off a very bad guy. In a revolutionary leap in storytelling, this time, it becomes personal for Barney, and he is faced with the task to overcome all odds for vengeance. Needless to say, the walking beefcakes on screen simply shoot down all semblance of a plot and proceed to do what they do best – hurl cringe inducing one-liners and annihilate baddies and their stooges in various ways. Somewhere in the overflowing torrent of masculinity, there is Yu Nan as a female Chinese technical expert, whose instructions in the film seem to be 'hold gun, look hot, don't talk'. Young Liam Hemsworth appears as a Sniper but does more damage to art of acting than his gun does to people's heads.

Director Simon West brings most of the dumb fun from his Con Air in The Expendables 2. He seems to have been the perfect choice to helm this movie what with the overwrought nostalgia, possibly due to his sensibilities being outdated in 2012. There’s plenty of ludicrous action, though placed between several boring over-serious meandering conversations. Schwarzenegger is by far the best thing in the film and one wishes it had more of him – it’s great to see him fire a big freaking gun and toss his larger than life persona as a joke. One hilarious exchange between him and Willis’ character is itself worth the price of admission.

Watch The Expendables 2, eat Chili and spit it like a boss, and then fuggetaboutit. Here's looking forward to the in-development Female Expendables movie, which will also probably star Liam Hemsworth.

(First published in MiD Day)

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