The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Expendables 2 (2012)

The Expendables 2 (2012)

Well, the boys are back. Sylvester Stallone and company (Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Cruise) are this time joined by Arnold Swarzenegger and Bruce Willis on the kind of wooly adventure that leaves lots of opportunities for cheesy one liners, blowing stuff up, and brutal fight scenes. If you are a lover of 80's era macho film fantasies, this is your meat. All others beware. While Ex-2 is seriously better than the first film, both funnier and faster, it is a straight-faced joke, and if you don't "get" the joke, you'll be in agony.

The plot is pretty simple: Barney Ross (Stallone) and his merry band of "psychotic mutts" have to retrieve a mcguffin...I mean, a computer that can locate a cache of plutonium. On the way to getting it, they run afoul of another group of mercenaries, led by Jean-Claude Van Damme, in a terrific performance that will probably put him back on the big screen. Somebody dies, badly.

Revenge is a dish best served hot, and amid the shootings, stabbings, blowings-up, and crashing there is heat aplenty, and I had a whale of a good time. The first fifteen minutes alone has more action than the entire first film. The climactic punch-up between Sly and Jean-Claud is brutal fun. Hey...if this sounds like your cup of tea, it probably is. Arnold and Bruce have much more than their previous cameos, and it really is a minor miracle seeing them all on the screen at the same time. Childhood dream stuff, even if they're AARP fodder these days. They're still action gods, and this is their cathedral. Which, of course, they destroy spectacularly. What fun.

I'll give it an A- for action fans willing to put their brains on hold. A "B-" otherwise.

1 comment:

All-Star said...

Good fun! Looking forward to it!