The Expendables 2 (2012)
Wow, I somehow survived all of Statham's movies. Just have to wait for Parker to come out on video next Tuesday and I'll be current. Somehow I think that one is going to be a rent rather than a buy given the presence of J Lo. I have nothing against J Lo, just have never cared for her in a movie and I've seen most of hers.
Anyway, back to Expendables 2. Again. Hasn't been all that long since I watched it, but it was still pretty fun. Kept more of an eye on Statham this time around and he's really been reduced to a minor role here. Have to give everyone screentime I guess, but at least we do get two kick-ass action sequences out of him and some decent buddy-buddy action with Stalone. Still not too thrilled with Older Stalone's acting chops and that's somewhat of a scary thought given the low esteem I held for Younger Stalone's acting. Thankfully there's plenty of other fun to be had here, so you can groan your way through Stalone's lines and get back to the Blowing Up of The Shit.
Statham is just fine, but it's oddly not as memorable a performance for me as the first one was. Guess we got to spend a little more time with him then and here he doesn't get much to do. Heck, Gale has more memorable dialogue than Statham, and he's only in the first 1/3rd of the movie. That's at least made up for by the excellent knife fights and face-punchy/kicky. Statham's putting in good effort on this one and he and Stalone have a pretty easy rapport, we just didn't get nearly enough of it.
None of that detracts from this still being a damn fun movie. Sure, I'd like much less CG blood splatter and it would have been great if they could have at least bothered to try to match the CG palette to the live shots, but still enjoyable. Very fun having Chuck and Arnold and Bruce back again and they at least gave them several satisfying scenes this time around. I do hope the 3rd one doesn't try to cram too many people in, I like getting to spend time with the characters rather than just toss more and more at me.
Badassery Quotient - 9
I would go a full 10 given the body count, fun weaponry, excellent fight choreography, and fun one-liners, but I have to take off a point for adding in blood spatter after the fact. Would have been a better movie without it. So, lesson learned: It's okay to trip R down to PG, but you can't move PG up to R without quite a bit of reshooting.
Rewatchability - Sure
Twice in a few months is enough for me, but I'll certainly be coming back to this again. It works better on the whole than the first, but does lose a little something in the process. It's at least not pretending to be anything it's not and it is much more rewatchable than the majority of Statham's movies.
Up next - Er... Um... Pass? I can't let Statham's poor choice of scripts do me in, so I do still want to try taking on another actor. Just not sure who that should be. Bruce Willis might prove an interesting choice since he's got some excellent work along with some real stinkers and I've never really bothered to look closely at his skill as an actor. He was pretty awesome in Loopers, so it could be fun to see if that's a recent development and figure out what the hell happened between Die Hard and Loopers as he had some remarkably uneven performances in there.