Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Film: The Expendables 2

The Expendables 2 is the best film I have seen all year and is the rare case of the sequel being better than the original.

*****


We have much improved actions sequences with a healthy fill of gratuitous, blood splattering scenes that were sorely lacking in the first movie. There was talk of the violence being watered down at the request of Chuck Norris but fortunately it is not the case. Indeed, Chuck Norris's appearances are really kind of special, helping to catapault the movie into something closer to a comic book film along the lines of X-men (replace genetic mutants with super powers with old men with massive guns and arms the size of tree trunks).

If you grew up through the 80s and loved the actioners this film is the icing on the cake and it is a very tasty icing indeed; part homage, part cheesey parody (without being naff), part serious, and part humble (despite being full of super confident muscle men the actors clearly understand where they fit in the broader hollywood schematic). Lundgren again gives one of his best performances (he is not a good actor but is clearly stretching himself here), and Van Damme is simply pitch perfect as the bad guy, a role that he eats it up - a duff bad guy would have destroyed this movie so Van Damme deserves extra credit in this respect. Also, unlike the first Expendables, this movie has a lot more comedy and many more memorable scenes; the final action sequence in the airport is something to behold in particular (think of it as the ultimate gathering of action hero bad asses). Go watch.
 

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