Thursday, August 23, 2012

Expendables II

Okay, so I didn't like the first one. Didn't work for me on a lot of levels. And the second one isn't what you'd call the acme of the moviemaker's art, either, more fluff than a Chinese laundry, plot's got more holes than a colander factory, and the credit crawl numbers in the thousands, most of them Bulgarians, Indians, and Chinese, but ...

It had its moments.

Stallone apparently had enough sense this time to skip any attempt reality and make it into a full-out nostalgic cartoon, and on that level, I have to admit I had some fun.

Completely silly, and pretty much on a par with Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner–beep, beep!–but there you go.

Trampoline-fu fight scenes, a big part of the budget must have gone for artificial blood, and a whole lot of shit gets blowed up real good. Nobody on the other side can shoot worth a damn, and nobody on the old guys' side can miss. 

Some funny lines: Listen early for when Bruce Willis talks about "Male-pattern badness ..."

Chuck Norris playing with the Norris-is-so-bad stuff, talking about the cobra that bit him.

Schwarzenegger and Willis riffing on famous lines from their movies at each other. It's no spoiler to reveal "Ah'll be back!" and "Yippie ki yay!" but there's some fun with those. 

Even making fun of Couture's cauliflower ear at one point.

Van Damme chews enough scenery to choke a pod of toothed whales. 

Probably most of the people who go to see this are going to be old enough to remember the action movies these guys were in, and the in-jokes are why you go. 

They are all here: Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Norris, Lundgren, Li, with Statham, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, and a young sniper and kick-ass Chinese girl, neither of whom add much. 

They are all in pretty good shape to look at, though interestingly enough, Ahnahl appears to be less so than the others. 

Popcorn and a drink full of sugar, and have at it ...


steve-vh said...

How was Jean Claude's acting? He got major reviews for JCVD and rightly so, so I am wondering if this flick gives him anything to work with.

Steve Perry said...

Nah, Van Damme was the villain and right up there with Snidely Whiplash for mustache-twirling. He was in shape and still had his high kick, but there wasn't anything there for him to do save be Evil.

steve-vh said...

Too bad, but figures.

Ed said...

Liked the first one a lot better. The only somewhat decent stuff was Stathams action and some of the one liners and Van Damme. I can't believe they are still #1 at the box office. The 80's are back and keeping up with the no good writing thing. They could have paid for the 3rd movie with the money they spent on the first 20 minutes explosions. And who would have thought that Van Damme would have turned out to be the best least on this movie. There is a line something about how we could have stopped this....uhhhhhhhh maybe don't give up your guns....we already got it...Van Damme is the bad guy.

Steve Perry said...

C'mon, the only action heroes missing were Bugs and Daffy -- it was flat-out a live-action cartoon and not as well-written as any episode of The Pink Panther 'toons, which had no dialog.

Farce was the only possible way to play it, like Last Action Hero, and that's why the first one was such a clot of crud -- they tried to play it straight.

All those plot holes I mentioned? More holes than plot.

Van Damme had nothing to work with and his acting doing nothing ran the gamut from A to B -- all he did was sneer.

As soon as he dropped his gun and knife at the end, Stallone should have shot him in the head.

Actually, Stallone should have shot him in the head the first time he saw him, and given all the overwhelming odds the old guys faced every step they took, that he didn't made less sense than the Road Runner zipping through the hole the Coyote painted on the side of the mountain.

It got worse:

As soon as the old guys laid down their hardware? Van Damme and his crew should have slaughtered them -- it was completely out of his character -- such that it was -- not to do so.

As lame a scene as ever appeared on a silver screen -- if you were trying to do anything but out-and-out farce.

But they were doing farce, and that's a horse of a different color.

Ed said...

Farce is right.

Jim said...

Saw this today. Lot of fun -- and not to be taken seriously.

Pretty amazing to realize that Chuck Norris looks to be the oldest guy on the set -- and in a lot of ways, looks better than guys that are 20 years his junior, like Van Damme