Van Damme’s roundhouse kicks, Chuck Norris doing Chuck Norris shtick, Statham fighting with brass knuckles, Schwarzenegger/Willis/Stallone in the same action scene, amazingly violent and epic action and Van Damme/Dolph Lundgren back in the same film! What more could you ask for in an action movie? Sure, you could ask where is Steven Seagal, but this is pretty darn close to the best action cast in the world.
You’ll notice I used the word “darn” in case Chuck Norris is reading this review. If you didn’t know Chuck fought to have a lot of the curing removed from the film, and for a PG-13 rating (which would have ruined this film). You can’t censor all of those R-rated action heroes! Thankfully, they stuck with the R-rating but they did make some changes to the script. That’s why you’ll notice the cursing is very PG-13 throughout the entire movie, which makes no sense because the violence is out of control. You will hear the “S” word and other bits of bad language but the missing “F” word isn’t that noticeable. I was too focused on the epic action and the fact that the action heroes I grew up with, were all on the same screen together kicking butt (another one for you Mr. Norris!).
Listen, I understand people are tired of the Chuck Norris shtick that has clouded the internet for years now. The fact that director Simon West (“Con Air”) incorporated a little Norris shtick in to the film was classic. You’ll know when the scene hits and if you like those jokes, you will definitely laugh!
“The Expendables 2” is worlds beyond “The Expendables,” mainly because the direction from West is much better than Stallone’s. The first film was a mess with decent action but a terrible story and uncomfortable dialogue. I’m not saying the plot in this film is great or the dialogue is Oscar worthy, but it seemed much more pieced together. The story actually flowed and the dialogue wasn’t too painful. The one-liners were cheesy but that’s the point. The film is completely self-aware and has fun with itself.
The story revolves around Mr. Church (Willis) who calls upon the Expendables to seek out a secret safe that contains a valuable box. He meets with Barney Ross (Stallone) saying that Ross owes him $5 million and if this job is complete, Ross’ debt to him will be no more. Ross assembles his team including Christmas (Statham), Hale Caesar (Crews), Road (Couture) and Gunner (Lundgren) to complete the mission. They have some help along the way from some old friends played by Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger!
I’m all for a fun and entertaining action flick and “The Expendables 2” delivers exactly that. Growing up watching flicks like “Bloodsport”, “Commando”, “Terminator: Judgment Day”, “Rambo” and “Universal Soldier,” it was incredible to see all these guys on screen together having a great time. The action is incredible and way over the top, which is just the way I like it. The characters essentially make fun of themselves and even reference their older films like “Die Hard”, etc. I have to give credit to Jason Statham for his incredible fight sequences, particularly the one where he was dressed as a Priest.
I saw the film at a midnight showing with a sold out crowd and the movie received cheers and claps over a dozen times. Stallone and West knew exactly what fans wanted, and you get to have just as much fun as they did, making the film.
If you’re looking for Oscar-worthy screenplay, plot and acting, you’re looking at the wrong place. If you want non-stop, over-the-top, action with the greatest action stars of all time, this is the movie for you. I wanted the latter and it delivered!