When Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis were announced as official cast members of the Expendables 2, I knew that I was in for more action, more explosions, and more banter. Did I get what I expected? Kind of.
The three key points to this movie are acting, plot, and action. The acting is pretty corny. But you know what? When you are eating meat, is corn a bad thing? Is the corn, whether on a cob or in a bowl, something that takes away from the meat? No. Whether you enjoy the corn or not, the meat is still there. You could enjoy the meat despite the corn. Do you enjoy the corn? Yes? Good. No? You’ll still like the meat. Most of the acting in this movie is pretty corny. Not exactly bad, but it might make you shake your head a bit. Still, you still enjoy your favorites of the group, despite the corny acting. The comedy of this movie was right on. Essentially, these actors are playing themselves, and that’s why this movie is hilarious. They all make fun of each other, and the movie doesn’t take itself so seriously. That was a flaw of the first: It acted like people would take it seriously. This movie, however, nailed its tone. It was dark when it needed to be, but it was overall lighthearted and funny. Believe it or not, the person who delivered the best performance was Liam Hemsworth. His character was the most complex of all of the group, and he gave the plot structure. This brings me to talk about the plot.
This movie doesn’t have the most complicated plot. Stallone owes Willis, and so he has to venture off with his team to stop the bad guy. Simple. But, what adds depth to this movie is Hemsworth’s character. I cannot go into too much detail, as I am always spoiler free, but his character was solid, and I liked the purpose he served and his personality as a whole. The plot has more structure than the first, and it is cool to see the movie come together, even though it is full of stars. This movie was less of a gimmick and more of an actual film, even though it was full of homage to the actors and nostalgia. This is where the movie surprised me. It actually had a plot.
The action, of course, was bloody, brutal, and violent. Nearly every character had their moment in the spotlight, which will keep all viewers happy. Jet Li, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, each of them and the rest of the crew have their scene or moment. There are breaks between action, but for the most part, this movie is a slaughter of regenerating bad guys, conducted by our favorite action stars.
Over all, was this movie enjoyable? Yes. The Expendables 2 knew its tone, and it stuck with it. It is definitely a step up from the first movie, with more structure and plot. Everybody got their share of badassery, and so this movie did its job: It delivered a nostalgic, action packed movie that provides a fun time at the theater. The Expendables 2 is a T-Bone. Whether you liked the first or not, this is a good action movie with plenty of laughs and a lot of fun to be had.
Nicolas Cage is officially on board for the third Expendables. Who do YOU want to see in the Expendables 3? Tell me in the comments. And, if you like to think up unbelievable rosters, check out this post I did a while back on my ideal Celebrity Apprentice cast. It’s a fun post.