Slyvester Stallone has wisely given up trying to make anything other than what audiences enjoy, so in the latter stage of his career he gives us cake, with cheeseburgers, french fries covered in melted cheese and a milkshake.
The Expendables 2 is like attending a Bryan Adams/Def Leppard/Scorpions/Poison concert. If any of the actors in Expendables 2 tried to pull off the leading action hero in a movie today he would be laughed out of a theater. But put Sly, Arnold, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Jean-Clean Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren in an action movie together and the whole world enjoys, and laughs with them.
The Expendables 2 relies on just about every '80s action formula that exists. It is dumb. It is fun.
The story: Who cares? Stallone and his band of killing mercenaries are out to avenge the death of a fellow soldier, and stop Van Damme from selling a bunch of plutonium to the wrong people in ... Eastern Europe, I think.
The people: Stallone's team is comprised of Jason Statham, Jet Li, Lundgren, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Randy Couture and Nan Yu. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris have cameo-type roles that are anything if not fun.
The big surprise: How good Van Damme is as the bad guy. I always thought he sucked, but he is really quite good and chilling as the heavy. Maybe these types of roles can give his career a second wind.
Fight scenes: Video game-ish. Tons of explosions. A never-ending stream of bullets. The guns make a ton of noise, yet those who fire them don't require any ear protection. None of the guns has any recoil. Stallone and his crew are incredible shots, while the bad guys can't hit air.
Eye candy: Charisma Carpenter has a tiny role as Statham's girlfriend; Nan Yu is actually pretty good as something considerably more than just a girl who needs a man; I have no idea who Nikolette Noel is but she has a non-speaking part.
Should you see it: Yes. Absolutely. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and the chance to see Chuck Norris, Arnold, Sly and Bruce Willis lined up shooting everything in sight is great fun.
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