Action star Chuck Norris stars as Booker in The Expendables 2.

Action star Chuck Norris stars as Booker in The Expendables 2.

Reel Reviews: Expendables expand the mayhem

The Expendables 2 is a who’s who of murderous nostalgia.

  • Aug. 24, 2012 8:00 p.m.

The Expendables 2 reunites the old gang for another bloody romp of punching, kicking, slicing, stabbing, shooting and otherwise destroying their enemies.

Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Randy Couture, Chuck Norris and Nan Yu combat Jean-Claude Van Damme and an army of nameless, faceless baddies. The plot, acting and outcome are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is the mayhem.

We say, “It’s a who’s who of murderous nostalgia.”

TAYLOR: I don’t really see the need for this film, but then again, I’m not a slasher fan. That’s what this movie is, a slasher film. It’s not a war movie (despite the tagline “Back for War.”) It’s not even much of an action movie, despite a couple of chases. What it is is a 90-minute exercise in killing people; with guns, with knives, with bare hands. Plot is an afterthought.

HOWE: I think that is the point. They are taking the mickey not only of one-another’s movies, but also of their own. This is what this gang of action heroes gets paid to do and they are the best at it.

TAYLOR: They were the best at it. The one liners and the references to past films in which these old farts have appeared kept flipping between being stupid and being disgusting. Here’s my impression of this movie: Shoot, shoot, stab, break a guy’s neck, make a smart aleck quip, kill some more guys, drink a beer, make juvenile derogatory remarks, repeat. This is not a man’s movie, this is a boy’s movie. A man’s movie has a point.

HOWE: How old are you? You sound as old as my dad. He’d hate this movie as well, whereas, I took at the movie for what it is. Yes, forget about the stupid plot as it is ridiculous and far fetched, just enjoy it for what it is, a blood bath of destruction with some terrible one liners. Classic.

TAYLOR: I guess there is a market for that type of thing. I just don’t see the point of going backwards, particularly in such a flippant manner. These guys aren’t saying their lines to forward the momentum of the story, they are saying the lines so that everyone smiles and says, “Oh yeah, wasn’t that a great movie?” Really, what everyone should be saying is, “Why is this movie so vapid?” It becomes too cheeky for the subject matter, turns a serious matter light.

HOWE: You’re still being too picky. Yes none of them are going to win any Oscars for this, but you had the pretty boys who did the Oceans trilogy so why not let the brute squad have a go.

TAYLOR: I think this film is bad enough to be psychologically damaging to impressionable viewers.

HOWE: Would it of scored higher if it had your favourite actor in it, Steven “The Cook” Seagal?

–– Taylor gives The Expendables 2 1 incoherent mumbled sentence out of 5 useless mouths.

–– Howe gives it 3 bad facelifts out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are The Morning Star’s movie critics, and are based in Vernon B.C.