If it is not too hard to believe, Expendables 2 is even better than its predecessor. Sure, it essentially has no plot, and there is something painful about watching Stallone and Dolph Lungren stagger around the place pretending to be young again. But the action sequences are well-choreographed, and it is played for laughs with everyone pretty much winking their way through the scenes. Van Damme is slyly villainous; Chuck Norris has a couple of good turns. And Schwarzenegger has a blast. He and Bruce Willis trade references to each others’ movies. It’s silly, very silly, but it’s my kind of silly.
Even better were the trailers, which reassured me that a steady stream of trashy action movies will punctuate the fall. We had:
- Taken 2, boasting a clearly bigger budget and bulked up Liam Neeson
- Bullet to the Head, presumably titled thus to make us think John Woo, with Stallone partnered with Sung Kang of the Fast and Furious franchise
- The Last Stand, with Schwarzenegger as a local sheriff protecting a town from the drug cartel. I sort of admire his willingness to just jump back into every movie that will take him. But, it is directed by Jee-woon Kim, of The Good, the Bad, the Weird fame, so who knows.
- Resident Evil: Retribution. ‘Nuff said.
- Some kind of Judge Dredd sequel or prequel.
- The Man with the Iron Fists, a promising looking martial arts movie directed by RZA with Lucy Lui, Russell Croww, Pam Grier and — surprise — involvement from Tarantino.
So as the election season becomes progressively more unbearable, there will be escape at the movies.