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The Expendables 2 (Simon West, 2012)

August 16, 2012

Of the myriad problems with the horrifically tedious first instalment of The Expendables, one of the most prominent was the incompetent execution of its action sequences. Prone to an absurd cut frequency, confusing spatial relations, terrible CGI blood effects and a hideous form of neon-draped lighting, the sequences provided no thrill and failed to highlight any of its performers’ strengths. Simon West – best known for Con Air – replaces Sylvester Stallone as the man in charge for the sequel, and while the direction is never exemplary or innovative, it is at least competent this time round and the cutting far less frenetic. Jet Li, for one, is in The Expendables 2 very little, but it is nice to actually have his skills complimented by the camera this time. The oppressive electric-blue colour look of the first is also gone, replaced by an (again) competent, mostly grey scheme, while the CGI support has mostly been improved. It seems odd to make a fuss out of simple workman-like approaches and coherence regarding an action film, but the first film was such an oppressive mess of incompetence and banality that any sign of improvement feels like a striking success. The Expendables 2 also seems like a substantial upgrade simply by actually providing some sporadic entertainment…

Full review at Sound on Sight

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