Thursday, August 23, 2012

REVIEW: The Expendables 2

The good news here is this one has an actual director, no offense to Sly who's marketed an entire career out of writing ONE decent screenplay which dumbfounded its way to an Oscar win almost 40 years ago. The bad news: that director is Simon West. As in the guy who got relegated to directing TV shows for 10 years after that painful Lara Croft movie. He returned to feature films last year for Jason Statham's Nth generic action flick The Mechanic (do yourself a favor and watch the generic Charles Bronson original instead), and has another movie coming out this year, a generic Nic Cage piece of shit action thriller. Good to know that some things will never change.

The original was flawed, but it was fun and it was made to please the fans; take a bunch of stretch-faced, steroided geezers from the 80s, add some wrestling goons trying to leave the ring behind, sprinkle two current action stars and an NFL retiree and top it off with the mob boss from one of the 3 highest grossing films of all time. Oh, and throw in one of Dexter Morgan's pals for good measure. Lots of big guns, outdo Michael Bay on the explosion count, some cool bikes and tattoos and you got yourself an entertaining -if brainless- crowd pleaser. Why not stop at one? Because there's money to be made that's why. I mean after all, Tony Scott (rest his soul) was on the verge of unleashing a second Top Gun, 25 years later.

30 years ago, cause for a global nerdgasm. Today, cautionary tale about quitting while you're ahead.

And like the aforementioned brain candy, this one throws logic out the windows in order to make room for spacious egos. In a way it feels like a 90-minute commercial, a montage of money shots aimed at making the 50+ crowd get up their fattening arses and go out to and buy some Viagra and other over-the-hill helpers. Heck, you even have a slow-mo shot of 72 year-old Chuck Norris walking out of some heavy smoke and badassingly taking off his Rayban sunglasses. You got Jean-Claude Van Damme performing random gratuitious roundhouse kicks to show-off his shiny Airwalk boots and Colgate smile. You got Bruce Willis and The Governator making fun of each other's 80s catchphrases while riding indoors in a brand spanking new zero-emission, noiseless electric car. You got the Stat dressed as a monk throwing some badass Henckels Five Star 8-inch kitchen knives to singlehandedly take down 12 bad guys. You got one-liners flying by so fast you don't even have time to register what's being sold to you. And somewhere in there you got a storyline. Something about revenge for Thor's little brother from Hunger Games getting killed. In some unidentified east-European area. Oh, and plutonium. Darn that stuff!

Chuck Norris Fact: If u drop a penny off the roof of the empire state building and hit Chuck Norris in the head it will ricochet off, kill u and hunt down your family.

To be perfectly fair, if you wanted more of the original (as in first one, not that is was original) you'll be quite satisfied with this sequel. If you thought beforehand they should've left it at just the one goofy, testosterone-sprayed entry, you'll feel vindicated. Personally I was entertained but strongly feel it must've felt much funnier and cooler in discussion stage with a few brewskys in the belly than it came out on screen. I also maintain Sly should lay off the juice and leave the boom toys to younger boys from now on; you had your comeback and your trip down memory lane, now go the Eastwood way and do good movies if you really must do some more.

Final Word: 5.5/10

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