'That thing belongs in a museum'....'we all do'
Although I hate to admit it...no truer words have been said. I have always been a huge huge life long fan of Arnie and JCVD, not so much Stallone, Willis or Lundgren, but overall I've liked them all for various different films. But there does come a point where you gotta step back and wonder, are these guys getting a bit old for this shit?.
Again gotta admit its a HUGE thrill to see Arnie, Willis, Stallone, Lundgren AND now JCVD all together in one film. The added bonus of Adkins, Norris, Li and Statham are like I say...a nice bonus. The only missing person now is Seagal, then the jigsaw will be complete.
Once more I must admit...even though its pure fanboy heaven to see these guys together the thrill doesn't last long. The real crux of the action, what we all wanna see which is all the above guys fighting at the same time, doesn't happen until the finale showdown. When we get there its fun but ultimately rather poorly done in an ultra cheesy semi parody, edging on spoof.
This is the problem the first film had and it gets worse here I'm afraid. When I first heard of this franchise I was hyped for it, I wanted to see a proper homage to 80's action thrillers. What we got was a silly, cheesy, over the top 'G.I.Joe' type explosion fest that wasn't taken seriously. In this sequel its more of the same yet with even more corn, lashings of ham and the most weak basic plot I've come across for some time.
The visuals are impressive no doubt, stunts are manic and in your face with gun porn through the roof...yet again. Of course you don't expect a thought provoking story with high quality acting, we all know what we'll get and the film does what it says on the tin for sure. The problem for me was the whole thing just felt like a long trailer, a collection of flashy set pieces one after another, almost like watching a theme park show in Universal Studio's.
The film basically consists of tonnes of faceless baddies lining up to be gunned to pieces by each member of the Expendable team, one at a time, in a heroic pose. A shameless fusion of constant gun battles one after another with little else in between. Dialog is terrible and really makes the film more of a comedy/parody than decent action film, amusing but frustrating. Norris wasn't really in the film, he merely had a cameo which was pointless and a blatant cold cash-in, seriously his whole sequence was so stupid. I was disappointed we didn't see much of Adkins in action and some one forgot to film Randy Couture but the sight of Arnie back in action warmed my heart...even though he is clearly too old now.
I also noticed that the blood on show was very clearly CGI added after, does this mean that the original version had no blood?. Was this an 'AvP' job and made into a higher rating for the DVD release with the original theatrical version being a watered down affair for a wider audience?. If so that does show how off track they were with this whole concept, like so many other films these days. Why couldn't this whole franchise have been a proper action thriller damn it!!.
Yes I was disappointed yet again, I saw it coming of course and I knew they probably wouldn't go from childish cheese to proper semi serious adult action flick...hope springs eternal, alas!. Despite my negative opinion this film is actually better than the first for what it is. Neither are exactly what I expected but this sequel is definitely slightly more fun than the first, highlight has to be Stallone vs JCVD. To be frank JCVD saves the film with his presence, problem is its all still completely ridiculous when it needn't have been.
I must confess to not seeing bad guys getting obliterated quite as much or as impressively for some time. The heroes empty entire clips (and never run dry) into legions of henchmen that come their way and not one of them gets injured haha. Well Stallone gets hit twice but it seems to have little effect on him. On top of that once again none of the Expendables team gets killed (apart from Hemsworth who's the newbie, so who cares), the team is invincible it seems which for me spoils the film. As I said for the first film, had a couple of them gotten killed off it would make things so much more interesting.
Again the idea is grand but the outcome is so very weak. A loud, bombastic, gun shattering riot of an action flick but in an almost pantomime style of presentation. Yes its fun to a degree but I wanna see hardcore action just like the old days please, not fluff with babyish dialog.