There’s something to be said about a movie that lives up to expectations. Sometimes, it’s the simple pleasures that make for the best experience. To that end, Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 2 will appeal to its target audience quite well. I don’t think anyone was expecting either this film or its prequel to turn any critics’ heads, but I can tell you that you’ll get what you pay for: The Expendables 2 brings fans yet another action thriller that manages not to take itself too seriously.
The rather predictable plot once again features mercenary group The Expendables as they slash, shoot, and explode their way towards vengeance on another generic Eastern-European baddie (Jean-Claude Van Damme). The plot was never the film’s strong point. Where the film shines, though, is in the complexity of the well-choreographed action sequences, and some truly excellent performances by the cast. The original concept for the Expendables, a movie that brings together all of the major American action film stars, once again serves as a great evening’s entertainment. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Jet Li, and Dolph Lundgren, and with cameos from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Chuck Norris, Expendables once again throws audiences into a fast paced action thriller that knows exactly who its target audience is.
The script has a surprising quip, and the obligatory inclusion of all the stars’ respective film references (“I’ll be back” must have found its way in three or four times) happens in such a way that no one has to take this film too seriously. In fact, the surprisingly well-developed characters’ back and forth banter is one of its high points. Nan Yu’s turn as Maggie adds some much needed variety, and Stallone is careful not to let the script get bogged down in cheesy sub plots and the like. The obvious camaraderie among the cast benefits the movie to a great extent.
It’s certainly nothing that you weren’t expecting. If nothing else, it’ll get your testosterone flowing. Can audiences really ask more of a Stallone film than that?
Rating: 3 out of 5