Expendables 2 fulfills terrible expectations

BARNEY ROSS (SYLVESTER STALLONE, LEFT), LEE CHRISTMAS (JASON STATHAM, CENTER), AND HALE CAESAR (TERRY CREWS) RUSH into action to rescue Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and a Chinese billionaire dubbed “Moneybags.”

David’s Take

Whew. Okay. So. The Expendables 2 was a thing. It was real, by no means should it have been, but it was. The Expendables 2 is the successor to the Expendables, a movie more renowned for its highly appreciated action star cast. It featured Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Steve Austin and more. One would think it couldn’t go wrong, and in the case of the first Expendables, they would be mostly right. It pretended to be a standard action movie in most respects, and it pulled it off for the most part. It had enough plot to gain my respect, and enough action to keep me from questioning my choice. It was okay.

Its successor did not do well in any of these regards. Its crew had bigger names. Chuck Norris played a role, Arnold Schwarzenegger was back (a joke that was, in a fit of utter tragedy, not lost on the writers), Jean-Claude Van Damme was there, and even the esteemed Bruce Willis put in an appearance for more than five minutes. You would think these names would make it better. They did not. Instead of adding quality and legitimacy, they took it, and the movie became more of an encyclopedia of every possible god-awful action movie line. They made several Terminator references (nothing about getting into choppers thankfully); Norris himself made a Chuck Norris joke, and the Govenator stole Officer McClane’s line. The writers should be punished for their sins. I am forced to give their effort a solid D, only because they were so bad they also failed at failing. They couldn’t even be terrible correctly.

The action felt like they tried to get motion capture at a show run by Gallagher. I would be entirely unsurprised to learn that explosives and fruit played a major (read: every) role in their human injury based special effects. There were times where I couldn’t tell if it was some of the worst CGI I had ever seen, a bad dream, or simply some of those new 60 frame per second cameras. In any case, it was hard to believe.

All of these things I could forgive. All of them. In the past I have forgiven all of them. They are the curse of the action movie, and such is life. What I cannot forgive is the lack of a basic understanding of the following: human physiology, how guns work, how cars work, structural integrity of car frames, how airplanes work, how guns are aimed, how poor third-world construction standards are, how water towers work, how zip-lining works, standard tactics used by militias and SWAT teams, how knives work, how sensors work, how mines (both explosive and ore-based) work, how smart cars are made and used, and how airports work and are designed, just to name a few. All in one film. All in less than two hours.

I don’t regret the time I spent there, in that movie theater seat. I may have partaken in what may only be called a work of evil. I may have been present for the venting of a foul soup composed of the unadulterated carcasses of the American action film of the days of yore blended with writing below the already atrociously low par set by films today. All of this is true. But I was there for you all, to tell you this, and simply this. Do not buy a ticket to this movie. In a year, possibly two, when this movie is available for three dollars in a bargain bin, buy it so you can have something brain meltingly dumb on in the background of whatever activities you do when intoxicated. Then, when you sober up, throw this movie into the trash.

Kelsey’s Take

Walking into this movie, I expected lots of action, explosions, blood and gore, strong badass actors, and corny but still funny writing. Overall, I thought I would end up seeing a stereotypical action movie—a guy flick. Boy did I get my wish.

The amount of pointless violence and explosions was staggering.