The Expendables 2 (2012)

The ensamble of action heroes came back with a bang! With (more than) 10 huge action heroes coming in 100 minutes with their $100 million budget, can they deliver what the fan craves for?

I am not a big fan of blood-gushing, endless explosions, gun-totting, all-testosterone action films. Might be because my dad rented action movies on laser discs way too many times (i remember a lot of Schwarzenegger) or just because it is not high on my preferable movie-genre list. Anyway, after seeing The Expendables back in 2010, i felt it was such a supersize action movie, how can i not seeing such an old-school ensamble. And i finally saw its sequel on August 19, with no expectation, and so ready to be bored and sleep during the screening (rather pointless really, since its so very loud anyway!).

The Expendables 2 made out of the same team of mercenaries as the previous movie (The Expendables, 2010). Lead by Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), former SAS soldier and blades specialist Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), martial artist Yin Yang (Jet Li), weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), demolitions expert Toll Road (Randy Couture), and snipers Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), with the new addition Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth), the group’s youngest and newest member, a former military sniper disenchanted after serving in Afghanistan.

The movie started in Nepal, where the team have to rescue a Chinese businessman with, quite literally, a huge bang (explosives, machine guns, blood baths, gimmicks, you name it). They manage to rescue the businessman along with Ross’s old Rival, Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Shortly after the end of their Nepal mission, Mr Church (Bruce Willis) force Ross to accept a mission to retrieve a mysterious item from a fallen Airplane in Albania. Along with a female tech genius Maggie Chang (Yu Nan), the team victoriously got what they’re looking for, sadly the euphoria is short-lived. The team had fallen into a trap set by a villainous Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and his right-hand man Hector (Scott Adkins), forced to gave up the item that turns out to be a chip that contains a blueprint to an abandoned Soviet Union mine which stores 5 tons plutonium that Vilain planned to sell.

Studded with classic action stars like Stallone, Van Damme, Schwarzenegger, and cameo by the legendary Chuck Norris this movie really would be a beautiful nostalgia for most classic action movie fan. Fans of Schwarzenegger (like my Dad) would laugh at his quip, a very obvious references are thrown around that instantly reminds you of Terminator. Actually, a lot of the line seems to be formulated to pay an homage to the classic movie each of the classic action stars. Even I who only watch classic action movie as a kid to accompany my dad are familiar with some of the references.

I have to say i miss Jet Li’s martial combat in this movie, since he was only in the opening part of the movie. Despite the existence of Yu Nan can balance out all the male testosterone without existing as a formulated hot babe, she exist as an independent, smart woman, though her action scene kinda feel very flat and not special. Liam Hemsworth is one of the eye-candy here, might be an attempt to appeal to the female demographic, Stallone describe his role as the next generation of The Expendables who is not as “cynical as the other team members,also giving the whole movie a little dramatic moments at the first half of the movie.

Like good old classic action movie, The Expendables 2 relied on stunts and special effects unlike the CGI-laden action movie we often found nowadays. I have to say I am a bit annoyed by the visual quality of some scene, i am not sure if it is intentional or it’s an editing problem, but while some scene are well recorded, some are so visually murky that I could not help but to think its how classic actions movies from the 70s/80s would look like on HD media.

Like the first installment there’s more violence, more barbaric, more testosterone-y, a supersize of your regular action movie. If you are looking for a divine plot or characters, then this is definitely not your movie. But if you’re just looking for fun, shoot-em, blow-em classics, no doubt you’ll enjoy The Expendables 2.

If you love the first one, you should catch this sequel while its hot. The Expendables 2 is still screening at Blitzmegaplex and Cinema21 in Indonesia. A third installment for this franchise is already in planning, are you looking forward for Expendables 3?

Pictures are screencaptured from the official trailer by yours trully and taken from the official website.

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