The movie kicks off with an amazing action scene as the Expendables: Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Toll Road (Randy Couture), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and newest member, the sniper Billy The Kid (Liam Hemsworth) blast their way to saving Chinese billionaire in Nepal. Upon their arrival they discover that Ross’ arch-rival and occasional ally Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger), is also in custody of the Nepalese criminals. Once the Chinese billionaire is saved Yin Yang brings him back to China and isn’t seen in the movie again.
With the mission complete, CIA Agent Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) reminds Ross that the Expendables owe the CIA five million dollars and must complete a new mission. In what is described as a walk in the park, the Expendables are forced to bring Maggie (Yu Nan) to Albania, the site of a downed plane to retrieve a miniature computer from a high-tech electronic safe. In possession of the miniature computer, the Expendables are then ambushed by Eastern European crime cartel lead by Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) who wants the miniature computer because it contains the location of five tons of weapons-grade plutonium, that Vilian wants to sell. Vilain takes the miniature computer and kills Billy the Kid by kicking Ross’ knife into his chest.
Seeking revenge and wanting to stop Vilian from getting the five tons of weapons-grade plutonium, The Expendables have a new mission: Track ‘em, find ‘em, kill ‘em. In order to stop Vilian, The Expendables get help from Trench, Mr. Chruch, and the lone-wolf, Booker (Chuck Norris).
It is very surreal to see all of these classic action movie stars in one movie together, unfortunately it leaves little time to properly showcase all of them. Jet Li has a cool fight scene in the opening of the movie, and then is gone. Jean-Claude Van Damme played a very creditable villain, to set up the ultimate showdown between he and Stallone. That fight scene was years in the making, Universal Solider versus Rocky, just disappointing that it was short and Stallone basically dominated him. Although they were very entertaining, Jason Statham had multiple fights scene that could have been spread out to different cast members. Lundgren, Couture, and Crews play off each other very well, adding most of the comedic aspect of the movie. Yu Nan brings nothing to the table in this movie. No element of her character that makes her a quintessential part of the group, nor is she eye-candy. Chuck Norris’ role was brief, which was disappointing, nonetheless very cool to see him appear. His character was flawed in the sense that he “works alone” removing the possibility of more cameos from other action stars as his crew, but understandable that he needs no one else, because he’s Chuck Norris. The combination of him, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzengger standing together blowing people away is awesome. Willis and Schwarzengger wise cracking each other with catchphrases from their respective movies adds a nice comedic effect. If a trilogy is in the works it would be nice to see Clint Eastwood, Steven Seagal, Wesley Snipes, Vin Diesel, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, and Danny Trejo possible characters or cameo appearances.
Final conclusion: This movie is awesome! The bloodiness and ultra-violence that this movie delivers, makes it arguably the best action movie of the summer and ultimately fun for action movie gurus. This movie is a must see it the theatre; the silver screen adds a more spectacular life like experience with fight scenes, special effects, gun battles, explosions and sounds that Blu-ray and DVD wouldn’t be able to deliver.
The Expendables 2
Run time of 103 minutes
August 17th, 2012