I’ve referred to, and will continue to refer to, a thing I call ‘The Jason Statham Effect’. Most Jason Statham films are not that brilliant films, however I believe without him in the driving seat (quite literally in Transporter) the films wouldn’t be as well received. The film is okay, but then when people see Jason Statham and say “It’s got Statham in? There’s going to be explosions and girls, can’t go wrong”. The actors can change, Liam Neeson in Taken, plenty of Arnie films, but the basic principle stays the same. An actors mere presence can improve the overall outcome of a film no matter how bad it actually is.
This also means that the plot is not a necessary component and if it is well written, it’s a nice addition. “Total Recall was good… Arnie killing people… can’t go wrong? Oh yeah and the story was pretty good too.”
The Expendables has the protection of The Jason Statham Effect from many actors and the fact it’s an action ensemble means people only go to see one thing. What. Shit. Blow. Up.
The film does not fail to disappoint action wise, the battles sequences are well shot and brilliant over the top and gory. The humour delivered by the main cast is brilliantly hilarious. I found myself laughing halfway through the team were cutting down about two hundred people purely because of the one liners and the hilarity of how ridiculous it was.
The film even uses other films catch phrases, one vehicle used to break open a door (maybe a wall) says ‘Knock Knock’ on it, a reference to Arnie’s line in Predator. Most of these lines are Arnie, with frequent Terminator references. I won’t ruin them all as there is even a scene where two actors swap their popular phrases, it was brilliant.
Overall the film is better than the first, it has better action sequences, a better story, brings in Arnie and Willis more and even throws in Van Damme and Chuck Norris just for fun. If you love action films you can’t go wrong with The Expendables 2. The addition of Liam Hemsworth makes Stallone more of a father figure and brings in more emotion to the plot line.
Some people will probably say I’m rating this too high but I look at a film like Expendables as an action film… I don’t expect to be stunned by it’s dramatic brilliance and to come out thinking I’d seen the next Godfather film, if it was billed as a drama film it would be awful of course. You don’t go to a comedy show and then complain it was too funny. I wanted to see stuff blow up and see some disgustingly ripped actors beat up some random villains with no remorse. It delivered.
Score = 6.5/10 Stars