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The Expendables 2

August 20, 2012

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MFF cowriter John wrote a thoroughly entertaining review if you want to get a more in-depth look at this movie. I want to write about the unadulterated joy that this film exudes. The characters say “I’ll be back.” Chuck Norris destroys everything and Dolph gets to play around with his Masters Degree in chemical engineering. This film was meant for the fans to enjoy. To walk into a theater and analyze this film would be a major mistake. You will cheating yourself from having a joyous time.

Is this film good? The answer is no. Is this film awesome? Yes! The dialogue can be painful and Liam Hemsworth has to spout some truly clichéd dialogue about war that makes you wonder if the same person who wrote this wrote the recent Rocky and Rambo films. When my girlfriend and I were walking out of the theater we overheard a man share his thoughts about the film. He said “it wasn’t life changing.” I found this to be incredibly odd and disheartening. It meant that this man went into this film looking for something that would change his life. Was he looking for a new battle cry or did he think JCVD would spout a one liner of destiny? This film will not change your life. However, it will make you clap, laugh and appreciate every second spent with old heroes and JCVD

When I was 12 years old my buddy and I walked up to the ticket counter at the local theater and bravely asked “two tickets for Timecop please.” The younger guy at the ticket counter smiled and gave us the two mythical tickets. We watched in awe as JCVD traveled around time spin kicking people. This film led me to watch Bloodsport, Universal Solider, Kickboxer, Lionheart and Hard Target. Jean was a big hit amongst all of my teenager friends. He eventually fell into direct to DVD hell and has reemerged with wonderful performances in JCVD and Universal Soldier: Regeneration. The Expendables 2 does for JCVD what the first film did for Dolph Lundgren’s career. It reminded us why we loved these guys in the first place.

The Expendables 2 is owned by JCVD. His brash and flashy villain named Jean Vilain is an obscure 80s evil guy who enslaves European men and makes them mine for plutonium. He will sell the plutonium to the highest bidder than go do something else evil. There is no reason for his madness other than he has the symbol of the devil’s goat tattooed onto his neck. He does the Devil’s dirty work and is teamed with direct to DVD action star Scott Adkins. Watching these two together made me really happy. I realize most people will not have the memories I have of JCVD or know about Adkins double spin kicks. However, I love that there is a series that hasn’t forgotten about the action stars of yesteryear and today.

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This film spares us the 17 minute  Mickey Rourke heavy breathing monologue and instead crashes planes through plutonium mines, bad guys literally explode when hit by bullets and features Dolph trying to put his chemical engineering skills to use to make a bomb. The Expendables 2 in the words of my girlfriend Megan is “not a good movie. It is an awesome movie.” These men throw tactics out of the window and instead make the loudest entrance possible. I love that Nobody investigates why somebody wants tons of plutonium, Dolph Lundgren says “good-bye” then front kicks a guy off of a balcony and Bruce Willis wears super stylish scarves whilst driving a smart car and exploding mercenaries.

The highly trained bad guy mercenaries can’t hit anything with bullets, Statham says “I know pronounce you man and knife” and there are so many references to the main stars other movies it becomes wonderfully ridiculous. I was wrong when I assumed hiring Simon West of Con Air fame was a bad idea. He injects testosterone to 11 and has created a film that audiences will love. The visual palate is grey and the film jumps around like seventeen people on a trampoline. You never know who will go flying and when.

The highlights are a fantastic yet short fight scene between Jason Statham and Scott Adkins and an opening 15 minutes where millions of bullets are sprayed whilst the Expendables rescue a chinese billionaire. Stallone continues to build a fun relationship between himself and Statham. Also, Terry Crewes, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren become a trio of destruction and goofiness.

The opening weekend has not been too kind to The Expendables. It pulled in a decent 28 million. However, it is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, the cinemascore is an “A-” and it was up against some tough competition. I predict this film will pull in a big worldwide gross and stay strong at the box office. It may not be quite the hit the original was but I think it will have a long shelf life amongst action aficionados.

Watch this film. Enjoy this film. Enjoy the Dolph, JCVD and Adkins.

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