Film Review: The Expendables 2

The dialogue is questionable, the action over the top and the plot negligible. In other words, The Expendables 2 is a hell of a lot of fun if viewers leave their expectations of something grander at the door.

Barney Ross and his band of mercenaries are tasked with a straightforward job by Mr Church. The group agree to carry out the task, but when things don’t go according to plan, The Expendables find themselves in enemy territory and after revenge…

The Expendables 2 boasts more of a plot than its predecessor, but even here it is slight at best. Instead, Simon West’s film reels in viewers with its ridiculous body count and big action set pieces. The narrative functions solely as a device in order to engage in violence on grand scale.

As long as viewers know what they are letting themselves in for, The Expendables 2 should not disappoint. The film does not offer any nuance in plot or any artistic endeavour. Instead, the film seeks to entertain viewers by giving them some of the biggest action stars of the 1980s and beyond in a overblown action flick. This will not appeal to all demographics, but there is a sizeable group that will lap it up.

The dialogue in the film is so hackneyed that it is amusing. It is questionable whether this amusement is intentional or not, at least in the scenes which aim for a more serious reaction. These more emotional interludes appear perhaps not as sombre as intended by the director. The Expendables 2 works best in its action scenes; there is really no need for the reflective moments.

West’s film boasts a stellar cast. The acting is poor at times, but this adds to the charm of the film. No one seems to be taking it too seriously; this is the appeal of The Expendables 2. The line towards the end of the film, which should get a lot of laughs, emphasises this. Viewers of the first film will be pleased to know that Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzeneggar have slightly meatier roles, while Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme are welcome additions.

More satisfying than The Expendables, The Expendables 2 is mindless fun that does not take itself seriously. The latter aspect is what makes the film enjoyable.

Stuff To Look At

Some delights for the eyeballs with Frankenweenie, Monsters University, The Expendables 2 and Pitch Perfect.

Frankenweenie

With these images, you are really spoiling us, Disney. Not content with releasing the first image of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent at the beginning of the week, Disney have also furnished us with new images from Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. Obviously, I am choosing to share the image of Sparky, the hot piece dog at the centre of the film. Frankenweenie is due for release on 17th October 2012.

Monsters University

I have a terrible confession to make. I have never actually seen Monsters Inc. I know, shoot me down. Many centuries ago, in my brief stint as a ‘Cast Member’ for The Disney Store, we used to sell all kinds of Sully-emblazoned merchandise. Thus, I am aware of the characters and the general happenings of the film, even though I have never watched Monsters Inc. The follow up, prequel Monsters University, is due for release next summer so I have plenty of time to see the original.

The Expendables 2

Of the films out this summer, The Expendables 2 is one I am really looking forward to. With the inclusion of Jason Statham, Jet Li and others, The Expendables 2 is not really an eighties action star reunion. Nevertheless, the film does feature Norris, Stallone, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger and Willis. Not exactly a bad cast. The Expendables 2 is out in cinemas on 16th August and I cannot wait.

Pitch Perfect

What’s this? Another Glee-inspired film about a singing competition? Yes and no. Like Joyful Noise, it is unlikely that the success of Glee did not impact Pitch Perfect being green lit. However, the film seems to have more of an attitude than the television show, so hopefully amusement will trump saccharine sentiment. Pitch Perfect is out in UK cinemas on 19th October 2012.

Trailer Round-Up

This week is all about the The Expendables 2. Well, not really but the trailer was released this week. Gangster Squad, Brave and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter also feature in this round-up.

The Expendables 2

This film looks amazing. I was one of the people who quite liked the The Expendables, so I am looking forward to this sequel. The Expendables 2 features more of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as Chris Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris. Let’s hope the film matches this stellar action cast. The Expedendables 2 is out on 17th August 2012.

Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad is the new film from director Ruben Fleischer. Starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, the film tells the story of the LAPD’s battle with gangsters in the late 1949. The film is being distributed by Warner Bros, who were famed for the gangster movies in the 1930s. Hopefully Gangster Squad will bring back some of that magic. The film is released on 9th November 2012 in the UK.

Brave

Here is an amusing little video to promote Disney’s Brave. The Scottish theme is really being played up in the film’s publicity. Brave will be out in the UK on 17th August 2012, although cinemagoers in Scotland will be able to see the film two weeks before this. Brave will premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival in June, so expect to hear more about the film around that time.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Above is a short featurette about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The film’s UK release date has been brought forward; the film will now open on 20th June 2012, bringing it in line with the US release. Given the premise of the film, it should be a lot of fun to watch Lincoln fight vampires in 3D.