The Expendables 2 | Film Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

The Expendables 2 

The Art of Bore

Pin It
Favorite
click to enlarge The Expendables 2
  • The Expendables 2

If there’s one thing The Expendables 2 is really good at—and there is pretty much just this one thing—it’s demonstrating that 2010’s The Expendables was a one-joke wonder that had more than fulfilled its potential before that first movie had even finished unspooling. This dumb movie wants you to find it absolutely hilarious that random ’80s action heroes—now puffy with age and sporting embarrassingly bad dye jobs—pop up in deus ex actioner situations, trade quippy and dated one-liners with one another and then disappear again.

Generally, the less awesome and more cheesy an ’80s action hero is, the more screen time he gets here. So prepare for a lot of Dolph Lundgren, and not so much of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis. This time out, a girl crashes this He-Man Woman-Haters Club—in the form of Maggie (Nan Yu), because Awesome Chinese Badass Chick!—as they head out to scenic Albania on a new mission, which is interrupted by Euro baddie Jean-Claude Van Damme. His character is called “Jean Vilain,” which translates exactly as you think it does.

Director Simon West, who clearly has decided that his own Con Air was too artsy-fartsy and intellectual, provides little physical context for most of the action. But he does glob on extra-meaty, extra-gory splatter for each of the numerous gun battles. And he figured out how to shoot armored vehicles and cartoon physics like he’s making pornography. If I wanted to be generous, I might suppose that West is doing what he can with a script that required four screenwriters, including Stallone, to come up with notions such as “The gang finds abandoned military equipment just lying conveniently around Albania as needed.”

There’s a level of brutal, boring stupidity here that makes The A-Team look like it was written by Sun Tzu. It’s all a big joke. Except it isn’t in the least bit funny.

THE EXPENDABLES 2
[Zero Stars]
Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme
Rated R

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of , ,

  • The March Goes On

    Local March for Our Lives group is using current academic year to broaden its membership.
    • Sep 19, 2018
  • Game Night(mares)

    A roundup of spooky tabletop entertainment perfect for Halloween season.
    • Sep 19, 2018
  • Conservation Crisis

    For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been a public lands windfall. A victim of a slashed budget, it could become a ghost of its former self by month's end.
    • Sep 19, 2018
  • More »

More by MaryAnn Johanson

  • Drew Crime

    A Simple Favor offers the simple pleasures of a cozy mystery.
    • Sep 12, 2018
  • Easy Reader

    Convincing bibliophilia makes up for a lack of conflict in The Bookshop.
    • Aug 29, 2018
  • Of Monsters and Men

    A woman's point of view gives unique spark to the dark romance of Beast.
    • May 30, 2018
  • More »

Latest in Film Reviews

  • All the Feels

    Life Itself offers a tuneless would-be opera about the majesty of human existence.
    • Sep 19, 2018
  • Drew Crime

    A Simple Favor offers the simple pleasures of a cozy mystery.
    • Sep 12, 2018
  • The Not-So-Broken Road to Acting

    Utah native Lindsay Pulsipher on the journey from Touched by an Angel to playing a war widow.
    • Sep 5, 2018
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Kid Stuff

    A lovely child performance anchors the satisfying family drama of Gifted.
    • Apr 12, 2017
  • If You're Going to San Francisco

    Fifty years on, Monterey Pop captures something that was more than a musical moment.
    • Jun 14, 2017

© 2018 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation