On paper The Expendables is an ingenious idea and I have to admit that I enjoyed it immensely. The announcement that there would be a sequel was secretly welcomed.
PLOT: After one of their own is killed in the line of duty The Expendables set off to stop the villainous villain Villain (Jean-Claude van Damme) from stealing tonnes of plutonium which has been stored in an underground bunker since the end of the Cold War. The Expendables explode their way through an Eastern European country in the name of entertainment. END PLOT
The plot takes pride on being completely unoriginal and it follows the beats of the action genre as though its life were dependant on it. I can’t complain too much about the script, if at all, because intricate plotting is not why I went to see The Expendables 2.
The Expendables 2 is all about the action and it did not disappoint. The first twenty minutes contained so much testosterone I almost grew a penis but thankfully the film calmed down to allow for some clunky exposition before the action kicked in again.
The action was consistently over the top but there were times when it became so frantic it became a blurry mess. The one-on-one set piece with Jet Li (criminally underused) and any scene involving Jason Statham showed that when the action calmed down it could be very good.
It was never going to be an acting master class but the actors, for the most part, did the best as they could. Liam Hemsworth is slowly making a name for himself and Statham phoned in his usual shtick quite well although he was noticeably absent for large chunks of the film.
The problem with The Expendables 2 is the tone as it is trying to parody the cheesy action films of old yet it takes itself far too seriously to pull it off. The in your face humour and one liners miss the mark by a long shot – having Chuck Norris throw down a Chuck Norris gag was never going to work.
The Expendables 2 is a complete mess and is essentially the first film with the volume up twice as loud but is just as watchable. It gets a decent 6.5/10.
Looking forward to the female version which will obviously be a much classier affair!