Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: The Expendables 2

I don't mind a good action flic. As a matter of fact, I enjoy action movies. And though I found The Expendables 2 to have a few gags and fun moments, it had a major flaw: it deliberately broke the window to reality.

What is "the window to reality"? The story taking place in a movie is fiction, it is not happening for real. But as a viewer we should feel it is for real. We should look at the story acted as something that is happening for real. We succeed in doing this if the actors are competent enough and the crew behind the camera do their job well. There are movies where I only see an actor acting, and not something real.

In the The Expendables 2 they break this window intentionally. It's not just me having trouble to see Trench instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnold rises from the chair and says:

Trench: I need a weapon. Something big.[looks at Caesar's gun, which is very close to the minigun he had in Terminator II] Yours.
Hale Caesar: Whoa, whoa, whoa. My big weapon's hangin' right where it is.
Barney Ross: Come on, Caesar. You got a backup.
Hale Caesar: If I don't get this back, your ass is terminated.
Trench: In your dreams.

An injoke referring to Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in the Terminator movies. Fun, if it hadn't been for the fact that Schwarzenegger isn't part of the story, but his character Trench. But hold on, it gets better. Later the following lines are exchanged:

Trench: I'll be back.
Church: You've been back enough. I'll be back.

"I'll be back" is also from the Terminator movies.

Is Arnold Schwarzenegger the only problem here? No.

Pilar: Who you are?
Barney Ross: We're Americans.
Lee Christmas: Since when?
Gunner Jensen (which is a Danish name by the way): Swedish.
Hale Caesar: Blackfoot.
Maggie: Chinese.
Toll Road: Retards.
Barney Ross: You done?

Great lines. If they had had the set up of pointing out that in movies Americans always come as rescuers of the World in the last moment. But they don't because we are in a classic American action movie and make a fun moment about that, with us watching the movie. They are, so to speak, aware that they are in a movie, being watched.

Dolph Lundgren's character Gunner Jensen is a chemical engineer and smart - which are traits from Dolph himself.

Just the fact that they make injokes about the action movies of the 80th where most of the actors had their peaks breaks the window.

Thank you imdb.com for links and dialog