“Who next? Rambo?”
Plot-in-a-nutshell: A recovery mission goes slightly bat-**** so the gang head out on a somewhat over-the-top revenge mission
See it if you like: watching things go “boom”. And “splat”. And “ak-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak”.
I didn’t enjoy the firstÂ Expendables film. I don’t know why, but I think it was because – after it got over the ridiculous cast – it became just another action film with a poor story, worse acting and nothing to hold the interest.
This, however… this is different. This isÂ brilliant.
Importantly, it doesn’t take itself seriously. In fact, it goes right to the end of the scale marked as “self-deprecation”, more commonly known as “taking the piss out of oneself”. There are so many bits of bad dialogue that would have been right at home in an Eighties action film that they simply must have been put there for that reason. References are made left, right and centre to well known films and characters. Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis play Musical Catchphrases, using each other’s best known lines with wild abandon.
The opening sequence is bigger, louder and bloodier than most other action films can ever dream of having for a finale.
This really is a film you can’t afford to take seriously.Â The bad guys can’t shoot for toffee and despite loosing off enough bits of hot lead to sink an island nation, pretty much always fail to hit anything other than blank concrete and glass. Apparently firing a machine gun through a glass window will cause it to shatter but won’t pepper the enemies on the other side with bullets. Firing at soldiers from elevation with ridiculously powerful weapons will not cause the deaths of any innocents stood nearby. Ever.
Importantly, though… who frackingÂ cares?
With a cast this size (and I mean that in all respects – they must have stolen the entire 1980’s Russian Women’s OlympicÂ shot-putÂ team’s steroid supply), it would be easy to expect most of them to be there just to make up the numbers. But with enough in-jokes about the actors themselves, quirks, piss-takes, banter and overblown action scenes that simply doesn’t happen. They even manage to shoe-horn a girl into the group this time out. Avoiding the obvious casting of Michelle Yeoh (surely the most well-known female Asian action star in the West?), they’ve gone for Nan Yu who I honestly haven’t heard of before. She’s good, though, and kicks as much ass as any of the inflated male cast.
This is, quite simply, a must-see. At one point, several members of the (small) audience cheered out loud. And I didn’t care. I was so wrapped up and giggling that it just seemed like a perfectly acceptable thing to do.
If you even remotely like action films, you’ll enjoy this. If you’ve seen the “classics” from days gone by then you will enjoy it all the more for the cast and references. Far, far better than it has any right to be – and the first film in aÂ long time I’ve considered going to see for a second time. That alone makes it highly recommended.
- Movie review: The Expendables 2 (103Min, NC16) So bad it’s good (todayonline.com)
- The Expendables 2: Movie Review (screencrave.com)
- Film review: The Expendables 2 is throwaway action fun (beehivecity.com)
- ‘The Expendables 2â€² Review: Delivering On Every Action-Packed Promise (slashfilm.com)