Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Expendables 2 (2012)

After the sudden death of a teammate, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the rest of The Expendables embark on a mission to track down and kill Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme), an international criminal and arms dealer. Driven by revenge, The Expendables plan to take down Vilain and his army, and stop Vilain‘s attempted transactions for large amounts of plutonium. Maggie Chan (Yu Nan) joins the team, and Barney receives help from Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Mr. Church (Bruce Willis).

Con-Air is still my favorite Simon West film, but West’s explosive and action-packed style is a perfect fit for The Expendables 2. As director, Simon West provides a thrilling opening action sequence, and the brutal grand finale is just great. Hopefully, Simon West will return for The Expendables 3, because he proved himself as the perfect choice to direct any future installments.  

As usual, the old-timers provide some good nostalgia. Chuck Norris’ role is limited, but his brief appearances are enjoyable. Arnold and Willis receive more screen time this around, which is a good thing. Watching Arnold, Stallone, Norris, and Willis fight side-by-side during the final battle should provide an unforgettable moment for any die-hard action fan.

Sylvester Stallone brings the strong presence of a leader for the starring role. The supporting cast is solid as usual, and Dolph Lundgren provides some great comic relief. I hardly know anything about Yu Nan, but she’s believable, as the lone female member of the group, who is more than capable of holding her own.

Also, I really enjoyed Jean-Claude Van Damme as the main antagonist. He plays the typical foreign bad guy, but Van Damme is entertaining, and he can still deliver the goods. Plus, it’s refreshing to see Van Damme return to a high profiled role, especially after all of those shitty Universal Soldier films and other forgettable straight-to-video releases.   

The Expendables 2 is a dream come true for action junkies. It’s a hard-hitting and brutal popcorn flick, that features the most popular action icons of all-time. The Expendables 2 fully embraces its status as a mindless action blockbuster, and I loved every minute of this film. Brutal violence, cheesy one-liners from Arnold, and a physical final showdown between Van Damme and Stallone. What else could you ask for? The Expendables 2 packs a powerful punch, and The Expendables continues to gain momentum as one of the more popular modern-day film series.

Final Rating: 7/10

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