Wednesday 22 August 2012

Expendables 2 Movie Review!!!

Is this the dream movie for '80s action fans?? Read on to find out!

If there ever could’ve been a movie called Maximum Extreme, I imagine it would probably have been something like Expendables 2.  It’s just so much testosterone hyper-fuelled fun that it’s kind of wrong, but so wrong it’s right!  Yeah, I know that makes no sense whatsoever.

I was an eighties kid and what that means is that I was schooled in the ways of the world, right and wrong, good and bad by some rather unusual mentors – Schwarzenegger, Stallone & Van Damme!  Everything seemed to be about strength – the stronger and tougher the better.   So of course I loved Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, The Hulk, Godzilla, He-Man, Panthro and Mr. T!

Van Damme was my hero.  I have all his movies and remember the days we would try to replicate his 360-degree flying hurricane spinning kick at school.  No one ever managed to even get close to how it should’ve been.   Most of us would land our kicks at about knee level.  I even remember trying to practice the splits thanks to this man.  Makes me kinda cringe reminiscing back to some of those days.  He may not have always picked them well but few can deny that Bloodsport and Kickboxer are classics, they were just great, innocent and quite humble action film making with heart.  It was purely thanks to Van Damme that they worked.  I really loved them and I still do.  If you’re a Van Damme novice then you must at least see Bloodsport, the movie that kick started his career.  Other worthwhile titles include Time Cop, Hard Target, Double Team, Knock Off and one of my personal favourites – Double Impact where you really do believe there are two Van Dammes!  One packs a punch and one packs a piece! Not sure what that means – but that’s probably because the genius of the line is beyond me. 

Many a night I’ve spent with friends, pizza, drinkage and Van Damme DVDs discussing who would win in a fight – Van Damme or Stallone, Stallone or Arnie, Van Damme or Arnie.  So yeah, as you can tell, I was pretty hyped to see Van Damme back on the big screen and that really was the draw for me to see this movie early on its release. 

Synopsis wise there’s not much to say.  Stallone and his crew are sent out on a mission by Bruce Willis but they run into complications courtesy of Mr Van Damme.  From there on out it’s Stallone and crew in the pursuit of pay back.   I’m not exaggerating, that really is pretty much all of the plot.  This movie isn’t about subtlety.  This is about bad-asses being badass!  It’s about seeing with your eyes what us eighties guys have wanted for over a decade.  The whole movie is wonderfully over the top and gory, there's also probably more action in the first five minutes of this than there is in the full run time of most action movies.  

Each character gets a moment to shine.  I was a bit shocked that Jet Li was only really in this movie as a guest star but what he does in his one scene is probably more than he did in the entire first movie.  Stallone and Statham are great as the leads of the motley crew, Dolph Lundgren and Terry Crews provide mostly light comedic relief, Bruce Willis and Arnie do their thing with big guns and Scott Adkins does some fancy fighting as per what we’ve pretty much come to expect from him.  Randy Couture is perhaps the least utilized of all the actors, which is a shame seeing as he is probably the only real fighter in this movie.   I’ve probably offended quite a few Chuck Norris fans with that statement but I stand by it.

The final showdown between Stallone and Van Damme was really good but alas not great.  The outcome could of course only go one way.  I just wished it was a bit longer and maybe more in Van Dammes favour but of course I’m biased.  It was a breathtaking moment seeing Van Damme’s 360-degree spinning hurricane flying dragon ninja powerhouse kick back on the big screen!  And for that alone I would recommend this movie.

In the mood for some mindless fun then check it out!

Rating 4/5


PS - For your viewing pleasure, here's a video compilation of Van Dammes famous 360 spinning kicks:

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