The Week In Screenings Part LXI
Just one screening for our regular correspondent Alex Kidd this week, but when it’s as bombastic as this outing, then it’s all we need. Here he offers his thoughts on the hugely video-friendly The Expendables 2.
A very busy week for me last week, but sadly only one film screening to write about, the rest of the time I was lucky enough to be up in Edinburgh at the Fringe Festival, so a hectic week, but only one review to cover for here, but when that film turns out to be The Expendables 2 then that’s not too bad.
I’d been really looking forward to this one, the first Expendables film was great fun, though it did suffer from some faults; a slightly overcomplicated script and a too dark tone kept it from being the solid, stone cold classic we all wanted it to be. But just the concept of The Expendables was enough to get me interested from the outset, the deliberate pulling together of as many classic and new action heroes as possible is like the sort of film you dream about happening but never think anyone would actually pull together.
So when you started to hear that there were going to be even more stars in the sequel it made me more excited to see it and this time round the formula works perfectly. The Expendables 2 is a crazy thrill ride that strips the story down to its barest minimum and charges right at you like an unstoppable force of nature. The story is this simple: the eponymous crew have to go and retrieve an item, then something very bad happens along the way orchestrated by Jean-Claude Van Damme, Expendables set out to retrieve the item and bring about the mighty hammer of revenge right onto JCVD’s head. It’s that simple and that’s why this one works so well; the first film was great fun but this one manages to top even that. Every element extraneous to the plot has been stripped away and you’re left with a simple and unstoppable pitbull of a film, one that knows exactly what you want to see and gives it to you in spades.
The Expendables team are the same this time around, only with the addition of Liam Hemsworth who does a great job of fitting into the hulking action legends that surround him, his military professionalism and young energy making him the perfect new recruit in this team of craggy aging men, a fact which the film itself loves to have fun with. New recruits to the film are Van Damme, who fantastically plays the films bad guy, his character is brilliantly called Jean Vilain, and the walking legend that is Chuck Norris, who really just seems to have been written into the script so he could turn up and crack tough guy jokes, which is actually what you want in a film like this.
Arnie and Willis are both back as well, though here with beefed up roles and it’s hilarious to see all of these mighty action titans interacting on the screen in one film in fact the longer the film goes on the more it abandons any pretence to be anything other than what you actually want to see: all of these guys blowing things up and cracking one liners. It’s a perfect action spectacular which will hopefully lead us nicely in part three and just who’s going to turn up in that one?
No just a reminder, if you’re in London this Saturday night then make sure you come along to the Scala Beyond Launch Night Film Jam, which is taking place at the Roxy Bar & Screen. Myself and Evrim are closing the show with our Duke Mitchell Film Club and we’ll be debuting the promo trailer I’ve created for Night Of The Trailers as the very final thing played, which should be around 3am, so come prepared to stay up late.Tags: screenings
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