The Expe(cted)ndables 2

27 Aug

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A guilty pleasure is hard thing to explain but that’s the only way I can sum this movie up. From the premise alone one can suspect that this is going to be a movie where leaving your brain at the door is taken to the extreme. Being a child of the 90’s I can’t say that I’ve ever paid attention to or even watched these actors’ more prominent movie’s such as the “Rocky” series, and the Terminator films. I did however see these actors in more family friendly settings, like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Jingle all the way, and I still remember the first time I saw Stallone on the big screen was at the Spy Kids 3D movie. That being said with the pervasion of clichés, spoofs, and references I could be as knowledgeable about a movie series as a hardcore fan, and well aware of the catch phrases and references written into the movie. The movie stars most of the cast of the original being headed by the original model for inspiration himself, Sylvester Stallone, and the merry band of ultimate mercenaries including Jet Li who decides to literally drop out of the film after the first action sequence. Set in various locations, but predominately in Bulgaria, this movie has the expendables gang on a mission that leads them to track down a world terrorist, played by Jean Claude Van Damme, and stop him from utilizing a lost store of plutonium from the cold war for world power.  This movie is not good on any measurable level but it’s not horrible, and in the end I really enjoyed the action set pieces and the characters. What people often forget about movies like these is that they can sometimes have heart to them in a sense and be enjoyed for certain things other than explosions. People will prematurely judge this movie for its cast and premise alone but in the long run these are thoughtful characters. Coming from my previous statement it would seem that the characters are being played by the goofy family friendly versions of their typecast and creates a lot of humorous character interaction amongst the cast amidst the expansive carnage. Another thing I must applaud this movie fro would be the female lead, played by Yu Nan, who not only dresses sensibly, but is independent, intelligent and can hold her own in a fight and she quickly becomes my favorite character, but only because everyone else is just going through the motions of acting as themselves. With the good comes the bad and this movie tries a little too hard to be clever and ends up being oversimplified reference dropping and the biggest offender has to be Chuck Norris. Norris has been identified by pop-culture as some kind of unstoppable mega-god and falls back on his internet memes and lackluster action success for a purposeless cameo. While these 20 year old one liners distract from the action and real humor in an unforgivable way I can still believe that this was a decent movie if not to just enjoy a series of explosions and comedic grunts at the camera. My final verdict is a thumb’s up because in the end I can’t hate movie that has made me laugh so much. 

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