So did RAMA think this movie was BALLSY Enough?
Track ‘em, find ‘em, kill ‘em! Shoot somethin’!
THE EXPENDABLES is insanely awesome! Nothing like an old skool action and this is one of the best sequels for us old skool action fans everywhere. At times, it’s a hot mess but one that I wouldn’t mind watching again and again, because this is definitely NOT for those who complain that it’s just impossible that the good guys barely make it without a single scratch. This is NOT for those who complain how one man can beat an army, this is NOT for those who complain that the plot is too thin or the characters are predictable or the dialogue is cheesy. THE EXPENDABLES 2 is for those of us who want to see some R-rated badassery, that’s exactly what the film offers and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Arnold, Bruce, Van Damme, Norris, and Sly: 5 of the most iconic action stars of all time, battling it out, can’t get any better than that. Rock ‘em sock ‘em, high octane, firepowered, non stop action from start to end, THE EXPENDABLES 2 is satisfying!..
The Expendables are back and this time it’s personal…
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) — with newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard — are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school mercenaries. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time — six pounds of weapons-grade plutonium; enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that’s nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary who savagely murdered their brother.
That is done the Expendables way….
I remember when the first movie came out in 2010, many thought it was just a terrible form of self indulgence, an expose of big men with big guns or big knives and that there was nothing smart about how the action scenes were staged, and I said to those people that they were right, the same goes for this sequel, but they’re thinking too hard. When you watch movies like THE EXPENDABLES, you need to put on the same cap you wore back when you watched Commando, Die Hard, or Bloodsport, or Rambo II, where sometimes you get one good guy beating a bunch of guys and you see heads flying or arms chopped off.. and sometimes you’d see the good guy in a straight up duel to the death with one main villain. And that fight is usually fueled by either pride or revenge. So that’s the formula that both The Expendables and The Expendables 2 go with. Whatever backstory or relationship plot points the script has, it only touches them on the surface, they’re not necessarily the driving force.
The team has some new additional members. Fans of Jet Li would be significantly disappointed with Li’s absence but his slot is filled by an Asian girl named Maggie, played by Nan Yu, who can take care of herself. And the team also got itself a sniper nicknamed Billy The Kid, played by Thor’s brother, Liam Hemsworth. Billy is somewhat of a reminder of the choices that each member of this team could’ve had when they were young but they chose this life instead.
The villain is played by Jean Claude Van Damme, who was invited to the first movie but thought too much of himself at the time and finally agreed to show up in the sequel and I’m glad he did. For those of us who practically grew up on watching his movies like Hard Target and Timecop, it really is good to see him back on the big screen, after years of watching him on straight to DVD Universal Soldiers sequels. Van Damme is your typical villain, cocky, merciless, his right hand man (Scott Adkins) is just as trigger happy and murderous as he is.
To see Van Damme do his signature fight move, jump, flip and kick to the face, almost brings tears of happiness to my eyes.
THE EXPENDABLES 2 goes above and beyond and sometimes to the point of excessive, to deliver some of the characters’ iconic lines like “Yippie Kai Yay” and “I’ll be back”. You geek out when Arnold and Bruce say them in this movie but when they say them more than once right after they say them the first time around, it kinda loses its charm.
But a shot of Arnold, Bruce, and Sly just blasting their guns away and Norris on the balcony helping them out, really feeds our appetite, it’s as if the movie is saying ‘hey, you’ve always wanted to see these guys working together, kicking ass, right?! Well here you go! Bon appetit!’
Thank the gods of cinema that this sequel is kept R-rated, because if it had been PG-13, if they had left the violence to our imagination, I would’ve gone straight to the box office, halfway through the movie, and asked for my money back.
In a way, watching THE EXPENDABLES movies has turned us into Roman spectators shouting in excitement at the sight of gladiators fighting to the death in the arena, if you don’t believe me, watch the movie for yourself and see how much fun it gets.
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