02 03 Nerd Lunch: 10 Things About "Expendables 2" 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

10 Things About "Expendables 2"

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1.  Dolph really steps up in this one, as we learn that Gunner shares much of Dolph's own ridiculous-but-true backstory (chemical engineering at MIT?  Seriously, He-Man?) and Gunner settles into the role of a more violent H.M. Murdock.  Nicely played.

2.   Jet Li's abbreviated role was a bit odd, but I can't say I missed him too much.  Wasn't quite sure from the first movie where he fit in the group dynamic, but I enjoyed the little moment with Dolph.  "Who will I pick on now?"  "You'll find some other minority."

3.  Sly at 65 is still a credible action hero, and I appreciate that they occasionally make reference to the fact that he's slowing down.

4.  Arnold looked and moved like an old man.  I would've rather seen him play more of a character and rely less upon lazy self-referencing gags.

5.  Same goes double for Chuck Norris.  We already had enough senior commandos around --- don't try to sell the worst actor in the whole movie as a SUPER-commando who always works alone, because that's what 70 year old super-commandos do.  The old narrative rule of "show, don't tell" was upended, because we were told that Chuck did a lot of awesome stuff off-screen, but that was it.

6.  Excellent supporting work by Colture, Crew, and Thor's little brother.  There's some great chemistry among the core team, and the scenes of them hanging out in a bar or discussing what they wanted for their last meal.

7.  Plot-wise, this one more than the first felt like it was just going through the motions.  "We have to get the thing from the guy!  And revenge!"  Not a big problem --- I didn't expect "Memento."

8.  Enjoyed all the classic rock on the soundtrack this time around.

9.  Was there a line about Micky Rourke's character's death?  I read there was, but must have missed it.

10.  I hope X-3 lets Syl (and Dolph) go out in a blaze of glory and sets up the continuing adventures of Stathem and the boys, but the domestic box office on X-2 might've been too low.

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