Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day One Hundred and Ninety-five - The Expendables 2, "Oh, look at all the CGI blood, tanks, and helicoptors!"

The first Expendables was enough in my book... but, obviously, they made enough that a second was in the cards, grabbing aging stars and macho men alike for a treatise maximus of gun porn where bad guys die by the dozens and the only friendly casualty is the new kid who telegraphed his exit by giving a cliche life goal, two days from retirement.


Seriously, it's movies like this that make me sad for the state of the film industry.

With absolutely no characterization or development aside from "*grunt* Stallone SMASH," The Expendables 2 is just a series of poorly conceived action set-pieces strung together where the good guys have dead-eye aim and the bad guys can't hit the broadside of a barn. I was literally expecting JCVD's team of eurotrash mercenaries to show up at some point in black painted Stormtrooper armor, their aim was so terrible.

Not only that, though, but the big name cameos are there strictly so one-liners from movies past... actually DECENT movies past... can be bounced off each other without the slightest bit of irony.

I mean, seriously? "Yippie-kai-yay?" "I'll be back?" "Terminated?" It's not even cute.

I also hate the way the lower tier buff dudes of the crew, Randy Couture and Terry Crews are relegated to the background. At the very least, Crews has a lot more chops than the film gives him credit for, instead saving a lot of the filler time for walking meat-slab Dolph Lundgren. I would much rather see the former on The Newsroom than the latter with JCVD in whichever incarnation of Universal Soldier they manage to find investors to bilk for.

Methinks the icing on the poison-filled cake for me was when Chuck Norris swaggered on into the picture to save the day in the middle of the second act only to swagger back out after spouting a few internet jokes. Of course he shows up again for the climax, but why spoil a perfectly horrendous movie by sticking to its own establish continuity ("He works alone..." 'cept when he doesn't wanna.)?

The Expendables 2 is definitely a paycheck movie for the copious action stars that fill its ranks, but not so much for the CGI artists in charge of everything from blood spatter to actual vehicles. When you make a feature like this, you shouldn't have effects that look like they belong in whatever Shark Vs. movie that SyFy puts out every week.

If you're looking for any sort of quality... stay far, far away from The Expendables 2. If, on the other hand, your sole purpose for being is to see god-mode matches of Modern Warfare play out, it's probably right up your alley... and I'll just have no respect for you, then.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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