Warning: This review does contain some plot spoilers.
How do you top an action-packed movie that starred the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Terry Crews, just to name a few? You add Chuck Norris. Obviously. That, and you had Jean-Claude Van Damme as the villan, and you have the much anticipated sequel The Expendables 2.
The movie opens up with the team of our favorite bad asses on another mission, this time to save a wealthy Chinese business man. Cue 10 minutes of awesome action with gun shots, knife throws, and an impressive display of frying pan work for Li, and the movie starts just as you would expect it too. Eventually, they realize that Arnold Schwartzenegger‘s character Trench is inside, and they save him too, meaning that the govanator now owes them a favor they will cash in later.
After this scene, we get to the biggest grip I had with the film. Jet Li kind of just disappears. I mean literally, on the flight back from the mission, he tells the team he is taking the business man with him, and that he “might” not be back. He bids his farewell, and that’s the last we see of Li! He already provided a great moment in the opening scene, so I would have loved to see more of him.
The last bit of plot that really needs to be set up to understand the movie is the introduction of the villan, who’s name in all seriousness is Vilain. The team is sent on a mission to find an item from a crashed plane site, and upon retrieving it, they are stopped by Van Damme and his posse. They have taken the new member, Bill The Kid(Liam Hemsworth) hostage, and after retrieving the item from Stallone and his team, kill Bill The Kid. This is the motivation that the team uses to track down Van Damme and kill him, and that is the story for the rest of the movie.
Now onto the action. It’s pretty awesome. However, I found that it was more gun shots and less explosions and knife fights then in the original. Don’t get me wrong. I love gun play. But there needs to be a bit more variety then these huge guys walking through open areas shooting everyone in site, while they somehow remain unscathed. Oh, and when Stallone does get shot, twice, he shakes it off, like a boss, and flies a plane.
The team does have a couple new members this time around. As I mentioned before, Chuck Norris is in the movie, though he’s more so a guest star then part of the team. You also see much increased roles from Schwartzenegger and Bruce Willis, in addition to Nan Yu, the first female member of the crew. Schwartzenegger and Willis provide a new awesome element to the team, and they have some fun by quoting some of their most famous lines from previous roles.
Overall, The Expendables 2 is a worthy sequel that falls short in a few aspects. My main complaints are the lack of Jet Li, and the lack of variety in violence in the fights. However, when you go see a movie like The Expendables 2, you know what you are going for: action porn. And this film has that in spades. We give The Expendables 2 3.5 out of 5 stars, and we are looking forward to the next one!
Have you seen The Expendables 2 yet? If so, what did you think? If not, why haven’t you gone yet?! Let us know in the comments!