The Expendables 2 goes on general release this Thursday, and last week, I sat down to check out what was sure to be the manliest, most testosterone-fuelled action extravaganza of the year. Unfortunately, while the brief action that is there thoroughly satisfies, the film is a disappointingly spare effort, and not the balls-to-wall action-fest we were hoping for.
You can read our review of the film HERE.
Believe me, there is no film this year I wanted to love more than The Expendables 2 , save perhaps for The Dark Knight Rises. I am the exact target audience for it, and it didn’t have to do a whole lot to please me; crack wise, and deliver a shed-load of action. Still, the problem throughout is really a surfeit, both of action, and of those entertaining stars who are so thoroughly under-utilised. Continue below to see 10 reasons why The Expendables 2 doesn’t deliver on its promises, and a reminder of what needs to be tweaked when a third entry inevitably rears its head. Note that MAJOR SPOILERS are rampant in the below list.
10. Poor Editing
This is one problem that is evident from the film’s opening action scene; as we watch The Expendables storming a small town in search of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Trench and a Chinese national he is extracting, what’s clear is that, while the film is not taking its R-rating lightly, Simon West doesn’t allow us to savour the violence, instead choppily cutting between the gunfire and the exploding gore. This is a move one might expect for a PG13-rated film, but with that R-rated stamp of approval, there’s not really any excuse, unless this is an attempt to tone down the self-seriousness that the first film was criticised for and enhance its cartoonish style. Still, the camera never lingers on the violence too much, and though there are the exploding heads and CGI squirts of blood, they are too fleeting.
This is evident throughout all of the – admittedly rather infrequent – action scenes, and not only does it prevent us from savouring the violence, it creates a disorientating feel that jars the viewer and denies engagement with what is going on.