The Expendables 2
Director: Simon West
Writer: Richard Wenk, Sylvester Stallone
Sequel to: The Expendables
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Nan Yu, Liam Hemsworth, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Charisma Carpenter
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the rest of his crew (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jet Li and Liam Hemsworth*) have just saved a Chinese businessman who was kidnapped, when Church (Bruce Willis) calls in a favor: they are supposed to retrieve something from a safe in a crashed plane in the Albanian mountains. To crack that safe, they need to take Maggie (Nan Yu) along (though Yin Yang [Jet Li] stays in China**). What should be a very quick and not very eventful mission, goes south when Villain*** (Jean-Claude Van Damme) appears.
The Expendables 2 is everything The Expendables should have been already, but was too shoddily directed and taking itself way too seriously for. In this one, they just go with the flow and end up with a film that is pretty damn satisfying.
The movie’s biggest issue is still Sylvester Stallone who, apparently, doesn’t have an ounce of self-irony in him. Pretty much everybody else in this film ramps up the funny – Dolph Lundgren’s Gunner taking on Dolph Lundgren’s actual life story; Chuck Norris – in one of the movie’s most delicious scenes – quoting an honest-to-goodness Chuck Norris Fact, but Stallone obviously can’t bring himself to and seems to still think that he is TEH SHIT.
Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger on the other hand continue what they started in the first film and now I want the Willis/Schwarzenegger-trashtalking-buddy movie. Hollywood, you should really get on that fucker.
The direction is also so much better than the first time round and I didn’t want to kill the cameraman, either. So, yay production! Plus, even though there’s still way too much shooting and way too little actual fighting, they even managed to include hand-to-hand-combat in this one. I liked it. Just let Jason Statham, Jet Li and even Jean-Claude Van Damme do their thing and you’ll be set.
And to top it all off, the soundtrack in its wonderful rock and rollyness had me humming along most of the time. Now that’s how you make a good time happen.
Summarising: Fun. Funfunfunfunfun.
*[SPOILER] Poor Liam Hemsworth could have been called Billie Redshirt, instead of Billie the Kid, btw. Obvious case of the obvious. [/SPOILER]
**As deadra put it so succinctly: “I guess there was only room enough for one Asian in the group.”
***Yes that is his actual name. You don’t know how happy that makes me.