As of this very moment, its 217. In the am. In the morning. I just walked in the door, flipped on the TV, sat down and fired up the laptop. On the TV is "Payback", from 1999, back before Mel Gibson displayed his anger management issues...
...remember when he was just cool? With "Braveheart" and "Ransom" and "Lethal Weapon" movies and even that crappy "Conspiracy Theory"... now, he does a movie like "Edge of Darkness" and "The Beaver" and no one gives a darn. Sad, really...
Why is it so late, you ask? Because I was sitting in a theater at midnight with my buddies Mikey and Tommy Mac, watching the glorious dude movie called "The Expendables 2".
The original came out in 2010, and I was so pumped for it, I even wrote a preview post... and the movie didn't disappoint. It was the 58th Coolest Thing of 2010, and I wrote, "...what is the movie even about? Some crap about a corrupt government and
the overthrow of a brutal dictator and so on and so on and who gives a rip. Seriously. It's awesome. If you like
real substance and deep plotlines, then don't watch this movie..."
And truly, the same line can apply to "The Expendables 2"... only more. And better. Most of the cast returns, with Sly, Dolph, Statham, Couture and Terry Crews, with Bruce Willis and Ah-nald making longer, more notable appearances. Jet Li only gets a little screen time, but we get a few additions to make up for Li's loss, including a surprisingly likable Liam Hemsworth and the bad-A chick Nan Yu, as Maggie Chen.
And lest we forget, the villian this time around, a chews-the-scenery Jean Claude Van Damme as... wait for it... Vilain. Yes, we have the villian Vilain.
The Expendables team find themselves in debt to the rogue businessman Church (Bruce Willis) and are sent to retrieve some valuable property before it falls into the wrong hands... but in order for there to be a story, there has to be some wrong hands around, which there are.
I'd go into more detail, but there's no need... lets face it, like the first one, you aren't coming to this puppy for a deep plot... though I will admit, its got a better plot than the first one. All in all, I enjoyed this one more than the first film, despite the lack of Jet Li screen time... perhaps it was the appearance of one Chuck Norris that filled the void.
There are a ton of nods to the old action films and cliches of the past, including Bruce Willis and Ah-nald mocking each other's most famous catchphrases ("Yippee-ki-ay!" and "I'll be back", respectively), and lots of laughable moments, though I feel like you'd have to be a little older, maybe late 20s, into your 30s and beyond to really get the jokes.
Each of the actors hold their own, and Jason Statham continues to be awesome, and you can just tell all of these guys look like they are having fun.
The language is actually not a huge factor, and though I'm sure there were some, I don't really remember any F-bombs at all. The violence? Completely over the top, almost to the point that it's ridiculous... not that I'd let Campbell watch it, but its a silly violence, not a serious violence, if that makes sense... it is Rated R for a reason, but its still just a lot of fun. Silly, nostalgic and fun. I rank it better than the first.