Get Your Action On Again!

             

  It seems not long ago that testosterone the movie, I mean Guy Flick, I mean the Expendables came out.  This action packed, adrenaline pumping, gun shooting, etc. adventure was the most popular movie among guys.  Yes, all of the greatest action stars came together to make that movie, though Sylvester Stallone hogged most of the screen time and did most of the work.  So when I saw the sequel’s trailer months ago I was a little excited, though worried that this movie would be mainly another glorification to the aging actor.  Were my fears and concerns justified or did the movie actually do what it was supposed to do this time.  Read on to find out.

Let’s face it, with this many action stars there is going to be very little story in this movie.  The motif for all the killing in this film is essentially revenge and nothing more, so those looking for one should stay home.  To my surprise however, the film did add a little more background to the team in this film (though not much) to give them additional features to help them stand out.  Most people who go see this movie though probably don’t care about character development so long as they get the action they are promised.  Well my friends, Expendables 2 has plenty of action throughout the movie that will make guys pump their fists in victory, well in parts that is.  Though I haven’t seen the first film in a while, I believe this sequel has more breaks in the action than its predecessor.  After an amazing opening fight, where the team has the accuracy FPS gamers can only dream of, the team shifts gears into a nice hike/plane ride.  Although a few skirmishes happen here and there, the action doesn’t pick back up until the end in an explosive shower of guns.  Despite the slow pace and attempt at story, the first and last battles have more than enough action to keep you stoked for a couple of weeks.  You may wonder if the action or violence has been cut down because of the PG-13 rating.  Relax my friends; you have nothing to worry about as there are plenty of exploding heads, blood, and awesome take downs in this movie.  The only thing the PG-13 movie took away was the overuse of the F word, nudity, and a lack of corny sexual innuendos that we’ve been hit over the head with this summer, which is such a shame (sarcasm).

With the action living up to par, the next thing to address is the balance of stars in this movie.  Unfortunately despite the two years they have had to improve, the movie still focuses on Stallone’s character as he again has most of the screen time.  The first battle had all the squad members doing something cool to complete the mission and show off their impressive skills.  Past that though, the directors decided to scrap two of the characters and replace them with Stallone’s mug just frowning.  Fans of Jet Li and Liam Hemsworth will need to soak up their parts at the beginning, because they soon leave the movie to make room for the newbies of the film.  Jason Statham fans, however, will be thrilled to see English star continue to kick butt.  The rest of the rag tag crew have some decent scenes, a lot better than the first one, but they still don’t hold a candle to Stallone’s face time.  I even began to fear that Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Chuck Norris were going to get the shaft.  Luckily the ending battle prevents the audience from getting cheated out of its money, well mostly that is.  As for Jean-Claude Van Damme , he is really only good for a couple of spin kicks and some unemotional acting, which is a shame.

What else can I say about this film?  One enjoyable thing to mention is the numerous references to the stars’ other movies.  The Expendables’ banter loves to use well timed, often over exaggerated, quotes from films like Terminator, Die Hard, or Rambo. Yes I did laugh at these lines, but some of them had me rolling my eyes after the third for fourth time.   If you pay attention you may find other references to movies in this film, one of which should remind you of Raiders of the Lost Ark.     The dialogue is also full of puns that may have you chuckling if you are in the mood, especially the heads up line.   Another aspect I’m proud to announce is that for an action movie the camera work is rather stable.  What does this mean to an action lover?  It means you get all the messy details the action team wanted you to see.  That’s right it means instead of getting camera work that looks like it was filmed during an earthquake, Expendables 2’s camera men managed to find ways to keep the camera stable and smooth.  Combined with some good editing and some close ups of our heroes, the film crew achieved their goal of adventure, though I wonder if they asked Michael Bay for some their explosive.

Overall Expendables 2 is a decent sequel, but the team still has work to do for the third movie that is probably on its way.  In particular I would like to see more of the other action stars than Stallone; otherwise they should just name the movie Rambo 5 and call it a day.  Is it worth a trip to the movies?  This action lover says yes as the surround sound, big screen experience makes the adventure come to life even more.  However, if you would rather skip this flick because of what it lacks, rent it on Netflix at least.  The scores for this film are the following:

Action/Adventure:  8.0-8.5

Movie Overall:  7.0

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