Expendables 2: Aged to Perfection
Trying to collect my thoughts into a controlled nuanced essay on Expendables 2 proved to be impossible, but like The Expendables 2, it’s the sum of random parts that make the movie great. I had seen the first one at midnight 2 years ago, and I was back in the theater as excited as Fred Willard, scared that I too may have had to whipped it out to deal with wet dream come true on screen. Overall, completely enjoyable and short, you never have to look at your watch wondering when it will end. Plus it contains great tips on how to age gracefully with Just for Men gel and hairpieces. There's nothing like seeing Stallone, Arnold, and Norris in high definition, when we first see their faces it'll make you shout in sheer joy (sidenote: I felt the camera was deliberately out of focus in close-ups on Sly, it could've been my theater though).
Thrown away plot lines:
Statham and his girlfriend- She's introduced as a cheater, he phones her constantly during parts of the mission, and then… she’s never heard from again or mentioned. And honestly it’s better this way because we are treated to the husband/wife relationship of Stallone and Statham as they bicker over parts of the mission and like every happy couple threaten to kill each other throughout the movie.
Stallone & Nan Yu sexual tension- At one point Yu mentions that she “likes Italian” and then gives a sexual glance of Gosling proportions to Stallone, not to be out done Lundgren boasts, “I could really go for Chinese.” Anyways, I’m not sure if I’m about to give a spoiler, and I’m not because if you are going to this movie for a love story then you camped out for Marley & Me believing it was a propaganda film for the legalization of marijuana. Now the Non-spoiler: they don’t get together, in fact at the end it becomes a father/daughter relationship without so much as a hug. If Stallone thinks we no longer believe he could nail a hot Asian chick the way he did in Rambo II, he’s mistaken. If we’re in the theater, we’ve already signed up for him running at super human speeds requiring his knees to bend more than they can in reality. So by god, we also want to see him get laid. If Stallone can’t get younger chicks at his age, what hope is there for the rest of us? I’m demanding a The Specialist-esque sex scene from the Expendables 3 and I better get one.
Notes of interest:
1. My random thought in the Expendables 2 was that Terry Crews is my favorite black person. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not the only black person I like or admire, but he’s my favorite. I’ve never seen Terry Crews and not been happy whether in Newsroom, Old Spice commercials, Cheeseburger Eddy, Idiocracy, Bridesmaids, and Everybody Hates Chris. He’s Big Papa Pump ripped and has a most interesting scar on his lower lip, which I can only imagine he got from fighting mythical beings. As to not appear racist, I’ve also listed my favorites from other races:
1. Asian- Jackie Chan
2. White- Nicolas Cage
3. Latino- Louis CK/ Luis Guzman
4. Indian- M. Knight
5. Native American- Adam Beach (he’s from Canada, which is technically part of North America)
Dolph Lundgren steals the movie. Lundgren gets almost all the laughs that aren’t meta jokes to former roles. He’s willing to embarrass himself with a group of former action stars that wouldn’t be caught dead in an intentionally testosterone lowering scene (exclude Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot). Lundgren, on the other hand, is the butt of most of the jokes and has his intelligence, sleep habits, manhood, and potency questioned throughout the film. And in the end he comes off as the most enduring character and the least robotic, a far cry from Drago all those years ago.
Asian Jokes- There’s at least 4 that I counted accompanied by direct references to stereotypes. One is particularly jarring after Statham and Stallone are surrounded by Asian troops, Statham quips, “Did you order Take-out?” Asians have been getting a negative wrap in action releases recently, especially in Total Recall, where the shitty place to live and must be exterminated is Chinatown and for some reason Chinatown is in Australia. In fact, when Stallone and Yu talk throughout the movie, it’s impossible not to be reminded of the language barrier from Rambo II.
Jet Li disappears early in the movie, never to be seen again and Yu can’t fill his shoes in making sure that Asians aren’t treated as second class badasses in the movie.
NIC CAGE HAS SIGNED FOR EXPENDABLES 3 WHICH TRUMPS THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE.
The Hollywood Defender