Terrible film fun September 1, 2012
The ’80s was a fine time that brought us “The Terminator,” “Die Hard,” and too many action movies to count. After 30 years of action movies starring our straight-to- DVD favorites and classic American heroes, the world has been blessed with a sequel to “The Expendables” that brings the pain, power and punch.
Unfortunately, you more than likely won’t be able to understand a single word they say throughout the film, but who cares. All you need to know is Jean-Claude Van Damme is the villain — no, really, that’s his character’s name — and Chuck Norris is bringing along some serious fire power.
This is “The Expendables 2” and it never claims to be anything that it’s not. The film is a definitive B movie through and through, with a C plot and D acting, but the action gets a big A.
“The Expendables 2” is a terrible film, and if you go in expecting anything more than that, it won’t be any fun for you. Stallone’s sequel to the 2010 film is the epitome of dumb fun. You more than likely won’t be able to follow the plot that feels ripped from every ’80s cliché known to man and seems a tad reminiscent of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”
The whole gang from the first film is back. They’ve brought along some new friends and will be confronted with some cheesy enemies. Reuniting with his team, dubbed the Expendables, Barney Ross, played by a barely audible Sylvester Stallone, sets out for a quick mission forced upon him by the ominous Mr. Church, played by a terrible Bruce Willis. Willis was great in the recent film “Moonrise Kingdom,” but any goodwill he gained from that film is nearly gone after watching his performance in “The Expendables 2.” I won’t give away any more of the plot, but let’s say the quick mission doesn’t go according to Ross’ plan.
Stallone passes on the directing reins to Simon West, who is best known for his work on “Con Air” and “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.” There’s nothing particularly amazing about West’s direction; in fact, at times it’s quite abysmal. Shots often are thrown together to keep the plot moving. The fight scenes at times are perfectly choreographed, but other times are certainly flawed as we watch middle-aged men wallop each other frame by frame.
The acting within the film is nothing to write home about, but no one was shooting for Oscar gold, so I have to give the actors a break. If you can get through the fact that most of the actors in the film have a serious case of mumble mouth, then it’s honestly one of the best times you can have in the theater as we near the end of the summer.
This film won’t win hearts or minds. But with a nearly non-stop action spectacle and bloody violence to match, “The Expendables 2” succeeds at having fun with its genre while still laughing at itself once in awhile.
Movie fan Patrick White doesn't spare anyone's feelings when deciding if the latest Hollywood offering is trash or treasure. Catch his reviews on the latest theater and DVD releases in Saturday's paper.