This is a total guy movie with plastic action figures from four decades past rolled into one, almost incoherent, violent parody. By the time Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared I wasn’t sure if the real mercenaries on a hopeless mission were Stallone, Arnold, Bruce Willis, and Dolph Lundgren or movie-goers dishing out hard-earned cash to see this flick.
I almost felt sad for Schwarzenegger and Stallone that they’d let audiences see them so stale and past their prime. Almost. Instead, I saw both of them in this movie perform like William Shatner did as Captain Kirk in the later Star Trek motion pictures; comfortable enough with who they are and what they’ve become to answer the call from fans once again.
A movie like this is never about the plot. It can’t be. They don’t have their “A” game anymore. That was back during the Reagan Administration. What guys do appreciate from a movie legend is that walk down memory lane--similar to Hall of Fame baseball players still acknowledged at the old ballpark. And I did laugh out loud when these Hollywood icons delivered their nostalgic money lines.
The real letdown of this movie was the script. There was no investment or personal connection between the characters. Even Stallone’s budding relationship with a younger woman was awkward and jarring right up until the end. It’s said that no military campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy, however, in Stallone movies it’s often the script. The Expendables 2 left me certain that the script was either written by Lundgren’s Ivan Drago character following his 15 rounds with Rocky or penned by John Rambo in the woods of Washington state while eluding the law in First Blood.
Chuck Norris Fact: In The Expendables 2, Chuck Norris makes sure there is no trilogy. And for that I’m thankful.
The Expendables 2 is Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout. Movie length is 1 hour, 43 minutes.