Posted by Mark Bridge On August - 18 - 2012 0 Comment

The main reason why we go to the movies is to have fun. With films that have been released with thought provoking concepts that leave us discussing its merits for weeks on end, we partly forget that these movies should be fun as well. To tell you the truth, as much as I love films with great concepts and ideologies that blow our minds, I would take a movie that is pure fun than the movie with ideas and no fun. The former is what The Expendables 2 represent. This film epitomizes the idea of leaving your brain at the door. It does not pretend to be anything else than a big, dumb, action movie. And by God I love it.  the core concept of this movie, just like its predecessor, is generally a love letter to fans of the 80’s action movies. While the first one only flirted with the idea, this one made a nosedive in it. This is where this film’s strength resides.

Sylvester Stallone returns as Barney Ross, the leader of a group of mercenaries which includes Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and new to the team, Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth).  Also returning in an expanded capacity are Arnold Schwarzenegger who plays Trench and Bruce Willis who plays Church. We also get some Chuck Norris thrown into the mix. So what is the story? Church hires the mercenaries to retrieve something from a plane that the CIA shut down. The team goes in and meet an unexpected guests in the form off Jean Claude Van Damme, who plays the villain aptly called Jean Vilain.  Van Damme’s turn as a villain is one of the high points of this film. When we saw his acting abilities in JCVD, we were prepared to see him bring that same charisma to this film. Between these two films, I think he should be getting more work and producers and directors alike should take note. After Jean Vilain ambushes the team and takes the object, they must regroup to take him down and retrieved the item.

The action just as much as the stars themselves, is the star of this picture.  It seems as if after every 5 minutes there is another action set piece. But the good thing about it is that they are staged with great finesse by director Simon West (Con Air, Tomb Raider 2). The opening and closing battle scene represent two of the greatest action sequences I’ve seen, with the action stars going full throttle with those scenes.  Jason Statham delivers some kick ass moves with his throwing knives that makes us wish we could see that guy in a movie on his own.  Apart from the action, this movie is really damn funny. I must’ve left out loud about four or five, heck, maybe even six times throughout the whole film. Terry Crews definitely stepped his game up in the charisma department. I had a blast watching this movie. Though I will not be comparing its quality to The Avengers released earlier this summer, but I will say that I had almost as much fun watching this movie as I had with that but most of the film. I went in, left my brain at the door, expected a fun action film. And guess what? I… Had… Fun.

The filmmakers seem to get what these movies are about. They are pure unadulterated entertainment and nothing else. You pay to go see a movie like this with the right state of mind and you’re guaranteed to come out with a smile on your face. I fully expect for there to be more of these films.  And as long as they keep what works in this film, or even turn it up a notch, I along with the other 80s babies, will be filing into the theater to see their next adventures.

Rating: ★★★☆☆  Good

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Categories: Movie Reviews, Movies