I enjoyed the first Expendables movie, I know I shouldn’t, I know it was basically Sylvester Stallone looking to find a way to release another movie and keep doing action but it was enjoyable and funny at times. The sequel however, that seems to have been the difficult second album.
Stallone hands over directing duties to Simon West who you’ll know from Con Air, Tomb Raider and The Mechanic to name a few. He doesn’t do a bad job, he knows how to direct action and given this is an action movie that’s obviously a positive.
The trouble with the film is it’s managed to turn into an unfunny parady of itself. Chuck Norris appears as a ‘lone-wolf’ who’s basically awesome with a weapon, Arnold Schwarzenegger manages to spout every cliched line you can possibly think of. If he said some variation of “I’ll be back” one more time I’d have killed him myself.
Jet Li, who kicks ass in the opening scene, mysteriously vanishes without much of a reason which leaves you wondering why they left him in in the first place. Dolph Lundgren is awful as Gunnar Jensen and the addition of Liam Hemsworth as Bill The Kid just to kill him off is as glaring as the pointless introduction of Nan Yu as Maggie who then seems to fall in love with Stallone’s character…er yeah.
Jean-Claude Van Damme plays the bad guy in the movie and you’re reminded why he didn’t do much outside of action movies, it’s because he’s really not a good actor.
The action isn’t as good as the first movie either. There’s a lot more blood and guts but there’s almost a Hot Shots style body count and guns just get bigger and louder but always do the same amount of damage.
A third movie has inevitably been announced and there’s rumours of an all female version of The Expendables being in the works too. I would expect more of the same, I just hope they calm down on the unnecessary cliché spouting crap and get to what we want to see – ass-kicking action.