Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Film Review: The Expendables 2 (2012)

The Expendables 2 (Review)
United States/2012
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes 

"Action fans will be impressed, just expect a little bit of cheese with your order."

After saving a billionaire hostage, the Expendables - Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), and family - are recruited by Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) to retrieve a classified item from a downed airplane. When an Expendable is killed Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and his right-hand man Hector (Scott Adkins), the Expendables go on the hunt...

The Expendables 2 is an action extravaganza with an all-star action hero cast. The story is simple and straightforward. The Expendables track international criminal Vilain, who has not only murdered an expendable, but has also stolen an important blueprint that can change the world; on that note, Vilain makes for a great villain, despite being underutilized. A few fistfights here, a couple shootouts there, and a plethora of explosions; also, expect some a lot of cheesy dialogue - the humor missed more than it hits, but when it hits, it really hits. The story reaches an epic climax where old and new stars clash. That's about it.

Now, let's be honest, we're watching this film for its action, so it's fine for the story to take the back seat. Fortunately, the action is spectacular - the large-scale sequences are often awe-inspiring as they blend shootouts, fistfights, and explosions on land, water, and sky. Many will likely be anticipating Stallone vs Van Damme, but I was waiting for Statham vs Atkins. The Stallone-Van Damme fight was great, but the use of computer effects during the fight hurt its authenticity, in turn, hurting its impact. Statham and Atkins were impressive, I always enjoy a great Atkins fight. The use of computer effects, which range from blood and gore to vehicles and destruction, wasn't great as it felt out of place.

The Expendables 2 features an all-star cast of action heroes. The acting is good enough, delivering most of their performances well, despite lacking any versatile character. Van Damme stood out to me as he had a lot of energy, and so did Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, despite their limited screen time. Aside from some sloppy computer effects, the action sequences are choreographed exceptionally and the cinematography is great. The music matches the tone of the film, gives it an epic vibe. The writing is solid, although it doesn't experiment much. (i.e. It's formulaic)

Overall, The Expendables 2 is a great action film. Most of the star power is used efficiently, the action sequences are superb, and the humor, albeit hit-or-miss, is solid. Action fans will be impressed, just expect a little bit of cheese with your order.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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