We went to see Expendables 2 last night. It was like being plunked down in front of a giant version of my children’s video games. Arms, legs, heads, whole bodies kept disappearing into a shower of red gore. Every shred of logic flew out the window in favor of making bigger and more impressive action scenes. Old rusted hulks of cars, sitting for twenty years, still exploded. The only thing that didn’t explode was the good guys’ plane after it crashed into a mountain. Three car loads of goons miraculously turned into about a million opportunities to kill bad guys. They must have had unlimited funds because one scene started with a couple of humvees; a zip line run later they had airboats. The airboats broke down into jetskis that ran straight onto a seaplane. Why not just head straight for the seaplane. I guess they weren’t in a hurry to get away after all.
I can’t help comparing all this to the Bourne Legacy we saw last weekend. The Bourne movie chose smarts. It forced me to think in order to keep up with what was happening. They gave deference to logic over brawn but still had fun action scenes and chases.
Expendables had former action stars putting on a show and flashy one-liners that took me back to the eighties. Bourne had deep characters, in an involved plot, and government conspiracies. I can’t say it had much humor or as much sense of fun.
I guess the choice depends on your mood on any given day. Myself, I can't wait for Skyfall and Bond, James Bond.