August 27, 2012
The Expendables 2 (2012)
Good script? No (though, to be fair, half the dialogue is 'awrahhhhh' or mumbled by Sylvester Stallone). Sexual chemistry between the lead and the guest actress? Absolutely not. A three dimensional plot involving twists, turns, and betrayals? Yeah right. This is The Expendables, a 'franchise' of two films whose body count is higher then a leisurely trip through the Killing Fields on a productive day.
There was a moment when watching The Expendables 2 when I realized my friends and I were transported back into the 1980s. It wasn't during the orgasm inducing scene where Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, backed by Chuck Norris on the higher ground, took out seventy three terrorists with endless clips. No, that was close.
No, it was when Jean Claude Van-Damme's second in command speaks into a walky-talky and says, with a thick Russiany accent 'we have the plutonium' (make sure to emphasize 'ploo' with a hard puh and la). And I guess it is cliche to see something like this but did even movies from the 1980s actually have badguys who said 'we have the plutonium'? It is so unreal that it could only be in an Expendables movie.
Nothing disappoints in this damn thing. From frame one, director Simon West lets us know that 'we don't need no stinkin' PG-13' up in this bitch. The film starts with the rescue of both a Chinese billionaire and an old 'friend' of Barney Ross (Stallone). And by rescue, I mean that Ross' teams tries as hard as fuck not to kill both while running over, shot-gunning, Gatling-gunning, machine gunning, pistol whipping, electrocuting, fry pan bashing, sniping, and concrete head smashing every terrorist left on planet Earth.
I don't want to reveal too much after this because there is actually a story surprise here or there (though you'll probably see it coming five thousand miles, or sixty seven dead bodies, away) but I can guarantee you that your perverse action film check list will be checked off and then some:
1)gratuitous head shots? check
2)excessive gore from the tiniest of bullets? check
3)assassination by church object? check
4)an explosion of a boat, a bridge, a car, a truck, an airplane, and at least one building? check
5)one liners? check
6)A self conscious Chuck Norris meme come to life? check
7)overkill of at least one unlucky bastard? ooooohhhhhh yeah
8)Jokes about what people think is a stupid Dolph Lundgren doing complex chemistry problems which isn't really a joke because Dolph Lundgren is actually a fucking genius? Check
9)Van Damme screaming, for no reason, 'I want to make lots of moooonnneeeyyy'? check (did anyone have this on a checklist though, to be honest?)
10)Rambo jokes? Check
Do I need to go on?
The Expendables seemed like a novelty idea back in 2010 when Stallone, fresh off successes with Rocky Balboa (his positive film) and Rambo (his negative film), brought together some old friends. While the film was short, sweet, and excessively over the top, the short scene between Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis made us all see what the possibilities could have been in 1988 or 1990 and what the possibilities still were.
And thus The Expendables 2 is more a realization of the dream of what we thought The Expendables was going to be. More fun, more gruesome, more exciting, and more '80's action star seed to impregnate unexpected virgins.