The Expendables 2 (2012) is silly and nostalgic. Silly to the extent of being humorous and and nostalgic to the extent of gratification. However, in spite of a zero-plot and sub-zero intelligence, the movie still manages a visit to unexplored territory.
The most ostensible aspect of the movie is it’s star-cast; which respectfully is a who’s who list of Hollywood action figures assembled from across multiple generation. Directed by Simon West, the movie has Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Scott Adkins and others.
When you have have so many biggies under one roof, there are only two things you can do. Either get really serious in business or party really hard. The director here just decided to party.
Expendables 2 is definitely not your Avengers. It doesn’t even look in that direction. The theme here is NOT how do good guys team up against the evil. The question is, given a gun and a knife who can kill more people in under a minute. Now, that’s unexplored territory and 30 seconds into the movie, one knows what is coming.
All characters in Expendable2 are very straightforward, both the good guys and the bad ones. Every single one of them is above the law, devoid of emotions, combat trained, hot-head, bloodthirsty and has an unlimited supply of ammunition. Their objective in life too is equally simple. Blow up the buildings and automobiles. Anything that has two legs and walks, either kick it in the face, shoot it in the head or stab it in the heart. Actually, even the glamor girl (Nan Yu) of the movie dispenses a dozen-and-half people herself without breaking a sweat.
That is the kind of silliness that Expendables2 celebrates. It becomes humorous when the old guns Stallone (66 yrs), Arnie (65 yrs), Norris (72 yrs), Bruce Willis (57 yrs) and Van Damme (51 yrs) compete with each other in painting the town red. It is as though, every time they pick up a gun, hundreds of men magically volunteer to get their heads blown or severed.
Now about nostalgia and gratification. Let’s admit it; the 103 mins of runtime is a dream come true for every action buff. Good thing that the movie is presented in good humor. The movie actually makes fun of itself and the lead characters. watch out for Chuck Norris cracking ‘Chuck-Norris‘ jokes, Bruce Willis making fun of Arnie’s ‘I’ll be back‘ line, Stallone’s Museum comment and many more such gems.
Of the star cast, Van Damme is the most charming and Statham the most lethal. One can’t help but grin at Van Damme’s trademark kicks, Noris’ one-man shows, Bruce Willis’ one liners, Stallone’s I’ll-Kill-You looks and Arnold with the big guns. All of which are reminiscent of different periods from the yesteryear’s of Hollywood. Extremely nostalgic to see’em all in one plot and in one frame.
The movie in the end, with lots of blood and an unintelligent plot will not be remembered for higher standards of film-making. It’ll more likely be remembered as one action-party that all Hollywood biggies showed up at.
My Rating: 6.5/10
My fav line:
Arnold: I’ll be back.
Bruce Willis: No. you’ve been back too many times. This time, I’ll be back.
Suggested reading: Movie review of The Expendables (2010) – http://www.jayanthj.com/2010/08/15/the-expendables-movie-review/