‘Expendables 2’ Review: Campy Action from the Old School

Sylvester Stallone’s movie eclipsed its 2010 blast-’em-up predecessor for certain reasons: less talking, more blowing the crud out of everything.

The first movie, starring the most famous square-jaws from the Reagan era, did have potential to bring to life the long-gone “hard action” genre.

However, to a certain extent, the film director went for easy self-parody – bombs, bullets, bad guys – instead of genuine excitement. Stallone tried to mock the movie before his audience could.

The list of the freebooting soldiers of fortune in their golden years, led by menopausal hombre Barney Ross, includes Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Jet Li, who drops out in the beginning of the story.

However, there’re some changes. Now the club includes Yu Nan as Maggie and Liam Hemsworth who plays eager newcomer Billy “The Kid.”

The plot also differs as while trying to swipe the blueprints for a Russian nuclear the young Expendables comrade is killed, prompting a new mission: revenge.

“Why is it the ones who deserve to live, the ones that want to live the most, die, and the ones that don’t deserve to live keep on going?” wonders Barney, performed by Stallone, who recently lost a son in real life.

The world known heroes, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, are back with bigger roles and more one-liners about their better movies, writes Rafer Guzman of Newsday.

Moreover, the new movie starres the famously wooden Chuck Norris as Booker, who seems to have petrified with age. The only player with his heart in the game is Jean-Claude Van Damme, relishing his role as a European villain named – get this – Vilain.

“The Expendables 2 is corny, barbaric and sometimes visually murky. But humor and self-deprecating macho charm make this male pattern badness crowd-pleasing fun,” says Claudia Puig of USA Today.

“You know…that balls-to-the-wall, ludicrous, stupid, ridiculous, amazing, awesome film that you thought you were getting with the first film? Well, better late than never,” agreed Widgett Walls of Needcoffee.com.

Jason Best of Movie Talk suggests: “Sylvester Stallone and his creaky band of ageing action heroes haul their battered musclebound frames into another old-school adventure, hoping to coast home on the nostalgic goodwill fans have for superannuated tough-guys whose heyday was the 1980s.”

Although the majority of movie critics liked the movie, 44 per cent have different opinion considering the new ‘Expendables’ film, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

“Sylvester Stallone and his creaky band of ageing action heroes haul their battered musclebound frames into another old-school adventure, hoping to coast home on the nostalgic goodwill fans have for superannuated tough-guys whose heyday was the 1980s,” writes Scott Tobias of AV Club.

“A thudding scud of a sequel defying the word ‘action’ with its excruciating pacing. Expect an ensemble that’s treated more like a bunch of extras than a supporting cast, plus a cache of feeble jokes that misfire,” continued Kimberly Gadette of Doddle.

“Yeah, yeah, I get it: “The Expendables 2” is a fun-loving throwback to the gloriously bad action films of the 1980s. Here’s what I don’t get: Why couldn’t it be a throwback to the good ones?” wonders Rafer Guzman.

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