The Expendables 2
Can you imagine if a bomb had gone off during the shoot of The Expendables 2, and rid the world of – take a deep breath – Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris? To say that there would be a year of global mourning would be an understatement.
Thankfully, apart from some bruises and (one imagines) some bruised egos, no action heroes were injured in the making of this follow up to the rather successful original with Simon West (Con Air) taking over directing duties from Stallone. But don’t be fooled into thinking that Sly is just showing up for the paycheck: he wrote the script for the sequel (don’t forget, he was nominated for an Oscar for writing Rocky).
The plot this time around is far simpler. After being assembled by Willis’ Mr. Church, the motley crew of “expendables” is tasked with what seems like an easy job – get a kidnapped Chinese billionaire out of Nepal – but naturally things don’t go according to plan. Loved ones will be lost and revenge shall be sought. Twas ever thus.
But if you think that The Expendables 2 is in for a kicking from the critics, you’d be wrong (and not just because they wouldn’t want to upset them). Sure, Empire‘s conclusion that the film is “a morass of dodgy plotting, indifferent brutality and limp character-work” takes no prisoners, but Variety feels that while it’s “redundant, bombastic and cheekily self-aware” The Expendables 2 “is also savvy enough to supply its own auto-critique.” And The Hollywood Reporter positively falls over itself, noting that the movie is “taut, humorous and attractively packaged… both fleet footed and engaging enough to captivate audiences with more than just nonstop action.” Decent reviews, the prospect of healthy box office and the return of Arnie to the big screen after his foray into politics surely means that a threequel is all but assured. These expendables are more like The Dependables.