|...like a dance scene, perhaps?|
Barney's (Sylvester Stallone) crew of good-guy mercenaries is back to work. This time,they find themselves in a tight spot. Instead of picking their own missions, as is the norm, they are forced into doing the dirty work for Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), or else risk being thrown into double-secret
|Look, it's the one expendable member of The Expendables!|
The Expendables 2 was directed by Simon West, which should be an improvement over Sylvester Stallone's direction in the first Expendables film. The key words there are "should be." West isn't bad, exactly, but his work here is uninspired. West is no stranger to dumb action movies, but he doesn't quite make a successful transition from dumb to enjoyably stupid action films with this entry. What's the difference? An enjoyably stupid action movie keeps up a rapid pace and varies up the gratuitous violence enough to keep the audience entertained. The Expendables 2 has some solid action in it, but there is also a hefty amount of downtime, where we are forced to watch Stallone emote; at this point in his career, the only emotion Stallone's face can convincingly portray is "lumpy."
|"L" is for "Lumpy"|
So, how's the acting?
|"Heh-heh. The blogger made a funny."|
|...which is, admittedly, a tall order|
It felt like Jason Statham had a lot less screen time in this sequel, but I guess his character just didn't have much to contribute; Statham is present in every major action scene, but I thought his role was far less important this time around. As for his acting, he did a pretty good Jason Statham impression. Jet Li was barely in the movie, so we didn't have to suffer through the unintelligible banter between him and Dolph Lundgren. Lundgren was particularly mush-mouthed, and I found it hard to believe he was ever an action star. But then I re-discovered this little gem on the interwebs and my faith in Dolph was restored:
|If they had CGI-ed a fist under his beard, I would have given it a pass|
|Without having to smile and be likable, Van Damme actually looks cool here|
Seriously, though, does anyone care about the acting in The Expendables 2? Of course not. This movie exists only for the action scenes, of which there are several.
|Not this one. This is an exposition scene.|
Here's the thing with The Expendables 2: it was meant to be a ridiculously stupid action movie, but the filmmakers misunderstood how to make that happen. Instead of stuffing this movie with action heroes doing action stunts that couldn't be believed, like some sort of action movie turducken, they gave into Stallone's ego and let him try to emote. And then they made the ill-advised decision to let Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis trade catch phrases, which made for possibly the most painful ten minutes I spent watching movies this year. Even with those problems, it's still got enough action to satisfy most viewers. Too bad it's kind of boring.