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Things blow up, bad guys are taken down and cheesy lines are delivered over gunfire.
That’s the plot of “The Expendables 2” in a nutshell, but what a jampacked shell it is.
This film is very violent but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s probably the same amount of gunplay and fighting as in any of the stars’ pervious films, just with more blood splatter.
The number of bad guys taken out in this film has to be in the thousands and half of those were extinguished by Chuck Norris. That’s right, I said Chuck Norris.
While violent, there is no sex and the language is tame. I guess producers thought that balanced all the bloodiness.
If you watched any action flick in the 1980s or 1990s, you’ve seen one of these guys flex their muscles on the big screen.
And if anyone dared say one of these guys is past their prime, I wouldn’t say it to their faces.
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews and Randy Couture all return in the sequel.
If that isn’t enough action-star muscle, they add Jean-Claude Van Damme and Norris.
Norris’ entrance into the film is a definite highlight. He doesn’t have a lot of screen time but when he’s onscreen, it’s hilarious. With the barrage of Chuck Norris jokes on the Internet these days, he even tells one of his own.
Liam Hemsworth (“The Hunger Games”), Scott Adkins (“El Gringo”) and Chinese actress Nan Yu also star in the film.
Cheesy lines are tossed back and forth throughout the film and some of the biggest stars even steal a few from their co-stars previous films.
The acting is nothing to write home about and the plot is pretty typical of an action flick. But that’s not really the point of the film.
“The Expendables 2” is a movie that’s all about getting back to action. It’s less about computer-generated effects and more about stunts and blowing up stuff.
It’s manly men doing manly things.
And that’s OK if it’s all done in good fun. The stars of the film even poke a little fun at themselves from time to time.
There’s still a generation of movie goers who want to see Rambo come in and save the day, hear Schwarzenegger say, “I’ll be back” and watch Willis fight bad guys. I don’t need to even get into the fascination with the ultra-bad Norris.
Sometimes, in an action flick, audiences get tired of seeing effects instead of the stars or stunt men.
That’s what this film and its predecessor give to audiences — action stars.
There is one main concern. The film’s violent action isn’t an attempt to protect or defend; it is pure revenge. While the film pays homage to action-star manliness, producers might want to be try harder in the next movie to have a more worthy cause for the heroes to defend. Revenge is not a worthy cause at all. Heroes exist to defend, not to enact bloodthirsty revenge.
It’s not going to win any Oscars. It won’t even come close. But it’s an old school action movie full of guys who are man enough to even laugh at themselves a little.
Just watch out for the violence.