Monday, August 20, 2012

"Expendables 2" is So Bad It's Brilliant

As a connoisseur of the tacky and the campy, I went to see the "Expendables 2" with Jeff this weekend.

It was so worth it.

A classic bad movie, The Expendables stars a whole bunch of washed up, has- been action movie heroes shooting their way through scenic Nepal and Albania.

Don't ask.

Of course, the movie ended up as the winner at the box office this weekend, which either means that American movie audiences have no taste, or everyone loves groaningly bad movies, like me.

For the actors, the movie was meant as a self-mocking send up.  And it was proof that aging movie stars don't, well, age well.

The star, and the leader of the band of heroes in the movie, Sylvester Stallone, wore a weird little black mustache in which had a sort of Snidely Whiplash effect, which was odd, since he was supposed to be the good guy. Isn't Stallone also a little old to have no gray hair? None?

Dolph Lundgren spent the movie trying to channel Gary Busey except in a more insane, menacing way. Dolph did manage a few words and quite a few grunts, so that's an accomplishment for him.

Steven Seagal was the bad guy, and spent most of the movie wearing these sunglasses that I always saw on Liz Taylor in paparazzi shots from the 1970s.

The film started with the usual action movie high body count, this time in Nepal, where the Expendables rescued Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is being held hostage by an evil Chinese billionaire and his band of thugs who had made poor Arnold wear a hood that resembled a badly soiled KKK hat.

Or maybe it was a dunce cap, as that would have been more fitting.

The Expendables quickly dispatched the ugly thugs in Nepal, spilling enough fake red blood to fill Lake Superior. Then they flew off in their decrepit plane, bringing along our Chinese billlionaire. They put a parachute on him, and dropped him safely onto a rural Chinese landscape, thereby keeping the evil billionaire alive for use in a sequel.

For unknown reasons, Bruce Willis then made the troupe head on off to Albania, where they were supposed to retrieve a computer code from a crashed airplane, with the help of a lovely Chinese heroine, made pretty and pouty by half the world's supply of collagen injected into her lower lip.

Of course, complications ensued with the evil Steven Seagal in his sunglasses, which offered the excuse for lots more explosions and bullets and gunfire and blood and general messiness. The Expendables were made even more mad at Seagal because he killed the youngest, most sensitive member of the group, and the only one who could marginally act.

Schwarzenegger kept popping up, announcing his presence with his trademark, "I'm back!" Finally, Willis, who had eventually joined the noisy festivities in Albania, said "You've been back too many times already."

Which prompted the funniest line of the movie, which came from Jeff, not the movie. Jeff leaned over and whispered to me, "You've got that right."

It seems if this was a real military unit, they'd be written up for wastefulness. I mean, why shoot a guy in the chest with 100 rounds from a machine gun when one or two bullets would do? The answer is, it affords an opportunity for one of the characters to tell our victim. "Rest in pieces."

Alrighty, then.

Schwarzengger appears again. (I'm back!) just in time to rescue the Expendables and a couple hundred villagers from a mine that Seagal had blown up, just for fun. (Seagal and his goons had already retrieved most of the world's supply of plutonium cannisters from the mine, so they can threaten the world. Again, just for fun.)

It was lucky that Arnold had one of those giant rock cutting machines to cut into the mine and rescue everyone. . Everyone should have a tractor-trailer sized mine boring machine in their garage like Arnold apparently does, just in case.

We are coming to the end of the movie now, (spoiler alert!) with a climatic shoot up scene which appears to take place in the Tirana, Albania main airport terminal.  It does seem nice enough that, although the fighting got off to a quick start, it appears they allowed people in the terminal to flee. With their luggage, since I didn't see Samsonite in the subsequent action sequence.

And that's a good thing. Who wants to go to Tirana, Albania, only to have their luggage shot full of holes by a grim Sylvester Stallone, firing away like he does through most of the movie?

It was also very nice of our merry band to not break any of the liquor bottles at the airport bar, even though the entire rest of the terminal was torn to pieces with their machine guns.

Seagal did make a mess with the plutonium, spilling cannisters of the stuff all over the airport, for tourists to take home later as souveniers. "Look ma! I brought you some plutonium back from Albania! It glows!"

You can probably already predict the ending. (Seagal might not be in the sequel, but you never know) However, with so much trouble in the world, and with "Expendables 2's" success at the box office, you can expect more explosive episodes of this movie.

Coming to a theater near you! Expendables 3! Renamed the Expandables, given their middle aged pot bellies by the time the next version comes out.

1 comment:

  1. Its Jean-Claude Van Damme, not Steven Seagal.....