Monday, August 20, 2012

The Expendables 2 Spoilers It Should Have Been Better

I really, really wanted to love this movie, and it really pains me to say that, while the movie wasn't bad, it should have been better...a lot better. I wasn't expecting some master piece of modern cinema either (who would expect that going to see this film?), just a fun nostalgic ride back to the days when one man could win a war while uttering an endless stream of cheesy lines, days when bad acting is cherished as an art form.

Sadly however, after doing such a great job of bringing together such a group of legends, the script really fails to pay homage to them, and it felt like a really big missed opportunity. The part with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis especially should have been way more epic and much cooler, I mean these guys have single-handedly killed thousands of anonymous henchman without even breaking a sweat, the only person they really did justice for is Chuck Norris.
With all these guys together there is a treasure trove of one liners and possible inside digs. Many of course were used, but many felt forced and rushed, they should have integrated them much better into the context of the situation in the film, instead of saying them just for the sake of saying them. As for the bad acting, yes they are aplenty, but they can be really entertaining when done during the action and not taking themselves too seriously. When bad acting really becomes "bad" however, is when the script tries to introduce "serious" emotional background and connections between the characters. One of the worst is maybe the introduction of an unknown Asian woman into the team, who then proceeds to have a mini romance with Stallone's character...errr...I mean why? and she ends up with the most screen time, second only to Stallone. Another is when they try to get the audience to feel something for Liam Hemsworth's character by having him talk about his past, so we might feel sad when he dies...yes the rumor that one of the team gets killed early on is true, but the only thing anyone will be feeling is relief that it was Liam Hemsworth. I got to say though that one of the best performances was definitely by Jean-Claude Van Damme as the bad guy. In fact, it is probably the best I have ever seen by him (not saying much I know but still), his style in this movie is very similar to Mickey Rourke's.
Overall though, anyone who remembers fondly the action films of the 80s and 90s, and wants a taste of what is no longer available in modern action movies, should definitely go and see this film, they really don't make them like this anymore.
Interesting Facts
I am sure this movie will go into the Guinness Book World Records for the most CGI blood used ever. Even punches to the face spills as much CGI blood as a severed limb in most other movie.

Jet Li only appears for about 10 minutes at the beginning of the movie.

Not sure how many people noticed this, but at the beginning when they were supposed to be in Napal, a lot of the low level bad guys/cannon fodder (including the interrogator) spoke Thai. I didn't realize Nepalese spoke Thai, or maybe the scenes were actually filmed in Thailand, which probably makes more sense since filming in Nepal is probably a lot more difficult.

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