Monday, January 21, 2013

Expendables 2

Bigger, Badder and Better.

The first and most important thing to say is that this movie is vastly superior to the first. Everything is just plain better from the dialogue to the action scenes.

Actions scenes really have to be given a mention as the action sequences in the first film were severely underwhelming. In this film we have much more personal encounters that are well choreographed especially in one particular scene that takes place in a small town. This is where the action sequences really take off and hark back to the glory days of the 80's action flick.

There are also numerous scenes where the 'Good Guy's' just stand around guns blazing 24-7 with people falling front, left, right and centre. These are easily my least favourite sequences in the film. In the aforementioned town scene gun bursts are tight and controlled which makes for a far more interesting action sequence overall instead of non-stop guns blazing.

Jean Claude Van Damme really shines in his first scene as a villain who is quite naturally of Belgian/French ancestry which allows him to just act without being hindered by the way he talks. It's a smart move and his first scene shows that he can act in comparison to the other actors in the movie. Sadly he doesn't get nearly enough meaningful screentime and I felt that he was a bit underpowered as a villain despite showing off his trademark kick several times.

Liam Hemsworth also deserves a special mention as he is easily the best actor in the entire film and steals the show in several scenes. However even he can't save the film from plain bad writing in certain sections. Overall his segments are somewhat stronger than the rest.

Certain cameos are much better than others. The humour is also significantly better in certain segments especially the Chuck Norris joke which I laughed at once during the actual scene and again when I remembered it at the end. Some of the action sequences were also funny, some of which was intentional and some of which wasn't. The same could be said for Stallone's acting.

I have to say Arnold Schwarzenegger really didn't seem to have his heart in this film at all, or he just plain can't act. Not sure which it is. Bruce Willis is interesting but never really hits home. There was however *some* good dialogue between Willis and Arnold.

Overall I'd have to say the film is worth a watch just to get a kick.  It doesn't try to be Citizen Kane and doesn't pretend to be either. It certainly doesn't take itself seriously and has it's moments amidst some cringeworthy ones. If you ever liked or laughed at the long gone glory days of the 80's action flick, you should definitely check it out.

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