• The Expendables 2 (2012) - More of the same with some good and some bad points - 6/10 (25/08/12)

    The Expendables 2 (2012)

     

    If you liked the first part of The Expandables franchise, you will also appreciate this follow-up but if you didn't like the first part, the chances are elevated that you won't adore the second strike, too. The story of the new movie is pretty much comparable to the first one, the action scenes are also quite similar and most of the characters of the first feature are back for good in this sequel.

    Let's kick off with the negative aspects about this film first. Honestly said, the movie doesn't come as explosive as the first part as this one is even more predictable than the first feature film because of a quite parallel story line. Second, there are still some humorous moments in the movie but some one liners already start to be quite repetitive and feel a little bit too forced, old fashioned and used and that's why this movie has a lot less laughs than the first film. As a third point I must admit that I miss the aesthetic fights that Jet Li brought to the franchise as he has only a minor role in this movie and the combats are therefor rather limited, repetitive and only focused on brutality, effects and explosions. I might also add that I miss a truly good secondary role as Mickey Rourke was in the first movie.

    On the positive side, I think that the story in here is still slightly more interesting as in the first movie. The locations in this film really exist and are much more intriguing as in the first part in my humble opinion and the makers of the franchise should even expand this concept in the future. Concerning the acting, I was positively surprised by the good work of Jean-Claude van Damme as main villain in this film. Usually, his acting is only focused on action and appears quite mediocre to me but he definitely does one of his best jobs ever in this flick. The fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis play a bigger role in this film is not only a positive thing for the gross, promotion and reputation of the movie but they bring back some good memories of the first part and their characters are as cool, funny and old school as in the first feature. The addition of Chuck Norris to this film also happened to be a good idea. His role is a little bit too short and honestly said filled with stereotypes but that's what people seem to want to see and his appearances turn out to be quite amusing, entertaining and memorable. The new characters in this movie played by the quite charismatic Liam Hemsworth and the tough but charming Yu Nan are interesting but first of all they are introduced in quite a hurry and lack of depth and then, they don't have a lot of screen time to fully convince.

    After all, this movie is pretty much comparable to the first feature film and you simply get more of the same. The biggest plus points in here are the exotic locations and some new actors that appear and do a quite promising job. On the negative side, you have a very predictable story, less diversified fighting scenes and a lot less humour than in the first flick. Fans of the first part should not miss this flick but those who were sceptical about it surely won't get a better approach to this second flick and should simply stay away from it. This movie is maybe a little step down for the franchise but still on a quite comparable level in comparison to what Stallone and his men had put out two years ago.

     

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