Listen To The Full DJANGO UNCHAINED Soundtrack With Tarantino Commentary

One of the things I've always loved about Tarantino's films is that they all have brilliantly unusual and eclectic soundtracks and although they may seem unconventional they always seem to compliment the movies perfectly. The soundtrack for DJANGO UNCHAINED is no different and below you can find the entire 86 minute soundtrack available to listen to for free with an added commentary by QT himself. Along with the usual dialogue tracks and artists from Ennio Morricone to Riz Ortolani and even James Brown and 2Pac the DJANGO soundtrack is classic Tarantino fare.

DJANGO UNCHAINED is out in US theatres now and will be released worldwide later this month.
The soundtrack is available through iTunes.

Synopsis: "Set in the South two years before the Civil War, “Django Unchained” stars Academy Award®-winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award®-winner Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles – dead or alive.
Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.
Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy Award®-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation where slaves are groomed by trainer Ace Woody (Kurt Russell) to battle each other for sport. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy Award®-nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candie’s trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival…"


Exclusive New AMERICAN MARY Clip

I was lucky enough to see AMERICAN MARY at Monster Fest this year and it's easily one of my favorite movies of the year. I definitely recommend checking it out when you can.
The Soska Sisters' second feature will be getting a limited theatrical run in the UK from January 11th, 2013 followed by a DVD & Blu-ray release on January 21st. In the meantime here's an exclusive new clip courtesy of TotalFilm.

Synopsis:American Mary is the story of a medical student named Mary who is growing increasingly broke and disenchanted with medical school and the established doctors she once idolized. The allure of easy money sends a desperate Mary through the messy world of underground surgeries which leaves more marks on her than the so-called freakish clientele”


Watch The First 6 Minutes Of The MANIAC Remake

I'm a little ashamed to say that it took me until yesterday to get around to watching William Lustig's MANIAC, but what an awesome film it is. I have mixed feelings about the remake but from what I've seen so far (especially after seeing the first 6 minutes) I think I'm actually looking forward to it.
In the lead-up to the film's release in 2013 this clip featuring the full first 6 minutes of the movie has appeared online and you can watch it below.

Synopsis: "Frank ( Elijah Wood) is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank’s obsession escalates, it becomes clear that she has unleashed a long-repressed compulsion to stalk and kill"

First 9 Minutes Of STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Leaked Online

As you probably already know, the first 9 minutes of J.J. Abrams' STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS has been showing in front of screenings of THE HOBBIT at IMAX theatres. It was probably inevitable then that somebody would record it and it would finally leak onto the web, albeit in a blurry bootleg format. For the full 9 minute clip check out WorstPreviews and be quick because it probably won't be up for long.

Synopsis: "When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction"


Horror Feast: Post Apocalyptic Trash

What better way to celebrate surviving the end of the world than to sit back and watch some post apocalyptic trash? But rather than rewatch classics like ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK or MAD MAX (both of which I fucking love) I thought I'd instead watch some of the many films which came out in the 80s in a bid to cash in on the post nuke craze.


The first film in Enzo G. Castellari's BRONX WARRIORS trilogy borrows heavily not only from the John Carpenter classic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, but also films like THE WARRIORS and even A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. The Bronx have been been cordoned off from the rest of society and with no law and order they have been declared a kind of no-man's land, ruled by the various gangs which inhabit the area. One of these gang's are a group of bikers led by their fearless leader Trash, and when the daughter of a large corporate president winds up in the Bronx, Trash takes it upon himself to protect her.
It's obvious the gangs are supposed to be cool and menacing in that WARRIORS style but between the ridiculous outfits, face paint and choreography they just come off as silly. A tap dancing gang? Really? However if you can look past the flaws (of which there are many) there are a few good scenes in here and this is a great film to watch and have a laugh with a few friends and a few beers. There are also a few nice additions to the cast with George Eastman (who is in a LOT of these post nuke movies) and blaxploitation legend Fred Williamson.


The year after BRONX WARRIORS was released this sequel came along with the return of director Enzo G. Castellari and a couple of the original cast members; most importantly Mark Gregory who steps back into the role of Trash. 10 years on from the events of the first film and things in the Bronx aren't looking so good.
The GC Corporation has plans to demolish and rebuild the entire area to make it nice and liveable again, but first it needs to vacate the inhabitants. Disinfestation squads are sent in to wipe everybody out to make way for demolition. But of course Trash doesn't take kindly to this idea and along with a group of underground thugs they come up with a plan to kidnap the President of the corporation.
The whole movie is action packed and full of explosions, gunshots and flame throwers. Although there is barely any gore the body count is huge and there's plenty of slow-motion bodies flying through the air. It's still cheesy and full of the things which made the first movie so terrible (and awesome) but I'd have to say that this sequel is a lot more entertaining that the original. If you liked the first movie then you'll probably appreciate this too.


Even though these three films are referred to as the Bronx Warriors Trilogy, THE NEW BARBARIANS (aka WARRIORS OF THE WASTELAND) really isn't connected at all apart from having the same director and some returning cast members, namely Fred Williamson and George Eastman. And this time around it seems that Mr Castellari has decided to rip off George Miller's THE ROAD WARRIOR.
A group of wasteland warriors who call themselves the Templars are on a mission to exterminate all surviving humans as punishment for being born, or something. Luckily for everybody else Mad Max Scorpion and his pal Nadir have come to save the day!
Things to look out for here are the ridiculous Templar outfits with huge shoulder pads, the strange rape scene and of course the fact that everything seems to be spray painted silver to look more er... futuristic. The best thing about the whole movie? The awesome electro soundtrack from Goblin's Claudio Simonetti. The movie is worth checking out for that alone.


Most post apocalyptic films are dominated by men, but SHE WOLVES (aka PHOENIX THE WARRIOR) is the exact opposite. The entire male population of Earth has been wiped out by some type of bacteriological virus and has left only small tribes of female warriors to fend for themselves in the wasteland. One tribe is led by the mystical (and fucking hideous) Reverend Mother who has discovered that a woman named Keela is pregnant with a male child. She sends her right hand woman Cobalt (Persis Khambatta from STAR TREK) to find the child so that the Reverend Mother can become all powerful and create some sort of super race. Phoenix (Halloween 4's Kathleen Kinmont) takes it upon herself to protect Keela and her child.
This is a terribly written and acted film full of cheesy scenes. On the plus side we get to see topless babes bathing underneath waterfalls and some pretty neat girl on girl fighting. Unfortunately the ending is just about as underwhelming as you could expect.


Yet another film trying to cash in on ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, complete with a Snake Plissken lookalike and a bunch of PLANET OF THE APES rejects. The protagonist Parsifal (yes that's really his name) is sent into the bowels of New York in search of what just may be the only fertile woman left on the planet. Success will grant him a seat on a space flight so that a new colony of humans can begin on a distant planet. George Eastman appears for the third time on this list, this time as the leader of a group of ape people.
Nobody quite makes these rip-off exploitations movies quite like the Italians did in the 80s and 2019 is a fun film with a lot of action, violence, gunfights and a nice synth score.
In all honesty the film is pretty lousy in regards to writing, acting and most other areas, but it's a nice addition to the Italian post nuke exploitation genre and has its fair share of enjoyable scenes.



Another year, another Christmas and unsurprisingly we have news of yet another upcoming holiday season slasher. Written and directed by MJ Dixon, BLOOD ON SANTA'S CLAWS is currently set for a Christmas 2014 release. Check out the first details and artwork below, and don't forget to go check out the film's official Facebook page for further details.

Synopsis: "One year ago George Landers shot an intruder on his roof, an intruder dressed as St Nick himself. Panicked, George buried the body in the woods and never told a soul, in hopes that it would all just go away. 
One year later and Christmas Eve is here, but it has brought something with it, and as George's family and friends are picked off one by one it comes down to his daughter who may hold the secret of where this all began and how to stop it


5 Of The Best: Movies Of 2012

Overall I have to say that 2012 wasn't too bad a year for movies and I think it was certainly better than the previous year. There were plenty of remakes, sequels and prequels as per usual but there was also enough original content to keep a person like myself satisfied. From mind-blowing indie films to big budget blockbusters and everything in between, in the end it was quite an effort to try and whittle this list down to only 5 selections (plus honorary mentions). Here are my top 5 choices -

The links to the full reviews are in the titles (not all movies have been reviewed)


"The story follows medical student, Mary Mason, as she becomes increasingly broke and disenchanted with the surgical world she once admired. The allure of easy money sends Mary into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called 'freakish' clientele"

The sophomoric effort from the Soska sisters was one of the few movies which lived up to the hype this year. The closing night of Monster Fest was probably the highlight if my year not only because I had a chance to meet the twins but also because I got to see this amazing film.

FATHER'S DAY (review)

"Ahab, a man obsessed with exacting a brutal, violent revenge on the man who murdered his dad, joins John, an eager priest, and Twink, a hot-headed street hustler, on an epic quest to find and defeat this mythical monster known as Chris Fuchman AKA The Father's Day Killer"

I can't express just how much I fucking love this movie. If somebody told me one of my favorite movies of the year would be a Troma produced film about a serial father rapist I probably would have laughed in their face. But this is fucking amazing.

THE RAID (review)

"A SWAT team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs"

The greatest action movie since DIE HARD.

EXCISION (review)

"A disturbed and delusional high school student with aspirations of a career in medicine goes to extremes to earn the approval of her controlling mother"

I don't think anything could have prepared me for this. A blistering debut film with some neat cameos and some awesome looking fantasy sequences.


"With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner"

Quentin Tarantino has done it once again. A brilliant movie with a fantastic soundtrack, great performances, plenty of violence and a neat cameo by the original Django; Franco Nero.

Honorable Mentions: 





THE GREY (review)


A lot still isn't known about the premise of INTO DARKNESS. We don't really know much about Benedict Cumberbatch's villain John Harrison (or indeed if that really is the name of the character he is portraying) either, which isn't surprising since J.J.Abrams seems to love keeping things under wraps and his audience guessing.
Anyway with about 5 months or so until the film is finally released you can expect a whole lot viral and promo material to surface, beginning with these latest images from British EMPIRE magazine. Unfortunately they don't seem to reveal much more than we already know but they're pretty cool nonetheless.

Synopsis:  "In 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew"

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS will be in theatres on May 17th, 2013.

Now Showing: THE BRONX WARRIORS Trilogy

Ok so I don't really know how much of a trilogy this really is, seeing as THE NEW BARBARIANS doesn't seem to have anything to do with the first two films. But they're all directed by Enzo G. Castellari and all three films are available in a box set called THE BRONX WARRIORS TRILOGY and that's good enough for me. If you're not familiar with any of these movies I guess the best way to describe the first two would be to say that they're basically trashy, low budget, blatant ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK rip-offs. The third definitely has a strong MAD MAX / THE ROAD WARRIOR vibe. But what they may lack in originality (and acting, and dialogue and... almost everything else) they mostly make up for in sheer stupid fun.

1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS: "In a post-apocalyptic New York City, a policeman infiltrates the Bronx, which has become a battleground for several murderous street gangs"

ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX: "A ragtag group of people have to fight extermination squads amid their ruined city"

THE NEW BARBARIANS: "Two mercenaries help wandering caravans fight off an evil and aimless band of white-clad bikers after the nuclear holocaust"


Paul W.S. Anderson Talks RESIDENT EVIL 6 And The End Of The Franchise

I don't think anybody will be surprised to learn that RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION isn't going to be the final entry in the series. But will the next film finally put the franchise to rest? From what director Paul W.S. Anderson has said it sounds like it just might. Anderson caught up with MovieWeb to talk about the video release of RETRIBUTION and the future of the RE franchise.

"I feel that [Resident Evil: Retribution] is very much the beginning of the end for the Resident Evil franchise. I see this movie as the beginning of the end, and the set-up for an epic, and truly spectacular finale. Which I hope will be the next movie"

When asked what might be in store for the grand finale:

"I couldn't possible tell you that. Definitely, the destruction and loss of the world. I can't tell you if it's the loss of the entire world. In terms of returning characters and themes, I do see this movie coming full circle. And circling back to the original characters and themes that were featured in the very first film. That's why you saw the return of the Red Queen, and Michelle Rodriguez's character. It is preparing you for a return to the hive, and a return to the scene of the first film"

And when asked about any returning characters:

"There are a few of them, yes. I felt that, with this movie, there was a limit to what we could do. We were bringing back Colin Salmon, we were bringing back Michelle Rodriguez. There were a lot of returning characters. We were bringing back Sienna Guillory. I didn't want to overwhelm the movie with this endless parade of returning characters. But there are a lot of characters and themes in the franchise that I would like to return to. I think that is going to be one of the fun things. We've taken the audience on this epic journey, and then ultimately realizing that the journey comes back to the very beginning. Hopefully it makes them reexamine everything they have seen in the franchise. I think the final movie will not only be spectacular, but it will also make you want to go back and watch all of those blu-rays and DVDs again. And watch them through a different lens"

There aren't really any solid details regarding RESIDENT EVIL 6 other than its targeted 2015 release date and the fact that it will star Milla Jovovich and be directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.



Directed by: RZA
Starring: RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu

As far as Tarantino-directed movies go I fucking love them all (definitely looking forward to DJANGO UNCHAINED) but the films with 'Quentin Tarantino Presents..." plastered all over their posters and dvd cases are an entirely different story. HERO? Loved it. HELLRIDE? Complete crap. So I was a bit wary in the lead-up to watching IRON FISTS. What eventually won me over was Eli Roth's name and even though I'm not a Wu-Tang fan at all, I know of their affinity with all things kung fu and so I was pretty sure RZA could at least craft a half decent throwback film. As for his acting ability... well that's a different matter entirely.

The plot is fairly simple. RZA plays a blacksmith who lives and works in a small village in feudal china. This village is also home to several warring factions including a group of warriors known as the Lion Clan. The leader Gold Lion is betrayed and killed by Silver Lion. Gold Lion's son X-Blade understandably wants revenge and along the way joins up with the blacksmith and Jack Knife (Crowe) a British emissary for the Emperor.
There's also a ton of gold being fought over, a brothel full of assassin whores and a beefcake who can change his skin into bronze. Add in a cast of eclectic characters, some wacky weapons and an assload of fight sequences and that pretty much wraps things up.

I'm confused as to why I've been hearing so much bad feedback in regards to this film. What exactly do people expect from a kung fu movie directed by one of the Wu-Tang clan and a tagline which reads 'You can't spell Kung Fu without F and U'? The trailer itself is enough to inform you that what you're going to watch is an homage to all of the old chop socky flicks of the 70s. It's not supposed to be a serious film so nobody should take it seriously.

IRON FISTS does definitely have its issues though, the biggest I think being that the movie focuses on RZA's blacksmith character. It's almost as if an old kung fu movie has been taken and the blacksmith character has been spliced in. I would have preferred if it focused on X-Blade and his quest for vengeance rather than RZA and his emotionless performance for an hour and a half. His narration isn't any better either.
The story is quite disjointed too although this may be due to the fact that the original cut was four hours long and they've decided to slice it down to a mere 90 minutes. That's a lot of missing footage. Russell Crowe's character didn't really add much to the film either and most of the time I was wondering why the fuck he was even there.

On the plus side however the movie looks fucking great. The costumes and sets are really nicely designed and detailed, the weapons are inventive, there's plenty of blood and dismemberment and the fight choreography is great. The dialogue isn't the best but whether this is done purposely to reference those cheesy kung fu flicks of old I can't be sure. There are also a heap of film references in here to if you keep an eye out. The overall style of the film is heavily reminiscent of some of Tarantino's work especially KILL BILL (the inclusion of Lucy Liu doesn't help) as well as classic kung fu films and anime. The fight scenes involve a lot of that physics-defying action that you see in a lot of martial arts films and the crazy hair and eyebrows bring back memories of watching that cheesy fucking TV show MONKEY MAGIC.

So the story may not be great, the dialogue and acting may be sub-par and the main character is an emotionless bore, but personally I think the entertainment factor and the sheer ludicrous fun easily make-up for these flaws. If you're a fan of classic kung fu films you're in for a treat, as long as you don't take this movie too seriously. It's far from the best movie I've seen this year but it's far from the worst as well. Would I watch it again? Probably. Would I recommend it to my friends? Easily.


Watch The New Astron 6 Short Film BREAKING SANTA

Aint It Cool News have premiered the new short film from Astron 6 (the creative geniuses behind FATHER'S DAY) which is titled BREAKING SANTA and available to watch below.
Astron 6's Adam Brooks earlier in the year described the new short: “BREAKING SANTA is just a fun, goofy short, but it’s also a bit insane. I think you’ll dig it. We didn’t worry about any formal stuff with it. It’s like a crazy nightmare; something we didn’t have to take as seriously. Something fun.”



Oh no! There's only a few days left until the supposed end of the world!
Although any rational person will realize that the world isn't going to end on December 21st, it's as good an excuse as any to sit back and enjoy some post-apocalyptic cinema. For your viewing pleasure we have the 80s cult classic NIGHT OF THE COMET along with THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (the original adaptation of I Am Legend featuring the one and only Vincent Price - the colorized version in this case) and if you're looking for something a little more epic check out the 6 hour adaptation of Stephen King's THE STAND.

NIGHT OF THE COMET: "A comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two Valley Girls to fight the evil types who survive"

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH: "When a disease turns all of humanity into the living dead, the last man on earth becomes a reluctant vampire hunter"

THE STAND: "After the world is devastated by a man-made plague, a battle of literally Biblical proportions ensues between the survivors"



Being a big fan of the original STAR TREK series I was certain I was going to hate the reboot, but I ended up enjoying it a hell of a lot so it's no surprise that like a lot of other people I'm looking forward to its follow-up INTO DARKNESS.
The latest teaser trailer has finally made it online and while it may be fairly light on plot details it is certainly stunning in the visuals department. Anyway that's enough from me, check out the full trailer below. And don't forget to visit areyouthe1701.com to sign up for what will undoubtedly be some viral awesomeness.

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS hits theatres May 17th, 2013.

Synopsis:  "In 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew"


GUT (2012) Review

Directed by: Elias
Starring: Jason Vail, Nicholas Wilder, Sarah Schoofs

I'll bet a lot of you often hear horror sites and blogs like mine proclaiming that you should 'support indie horror' and personally I disagree with that sentiment. For every amazing indie film such as the recent AMERICAN MARY or FATHER'S DAY there are at least a hundred others which quite frankly suck. So I think that the phrase needs to be changed to 'support good indie horror' because supporting a bad film for the simple fact of it being an independent makes no sense to me at all. Obviously with the seemingly endless sea of indie films (especially since the advent of affordable DSLRs) it is difficult to separate the good from the bad, but if you look hard enough you can always find a diamond in the rough. GUT is one of those diamonds.

GUT opens with an exciting and intriguing scene. A man spattered with blood leans down over what we can only assume is another person who is in the process of being strangled. Since the second person is off camera this assumption is reached thanks to the choked and labored breathing which is all we can hear.
After this rather violent introduction we are then introduced to the same blood spattered man, this time free of blood and in an entirely different context.

Tom (Vail) is a husband and father who leads an incredibly routine and seemingly boring life. His job is unsatisfying and eventually we discover that his home life isn't much different. He seems to be just going through the motions, day in day out the same old routine. Fortunately his best (and perhaps only) friend Dan (Wilder) notices how distant Tom has been and so he formulates a plan to spice up his friend's life a little and get him out of his rut. He pesters Tom to come watch a movie with him, just like they used to do in the good ol' days. At first Tom refuses, reasoning that he plans on spending the night with his wife and daughter watching the latest Pixar film. Eventually he gives in and winds up at Dan's place where he finds himself watching a very interesting and disturbing film that Dan discovered in the deep recesses of the Internet. The footage would appear to be some sort of snuff film but as to its authenticity they can only both guess.
One thing is certain though and that is the fact that the film has affected Tom deeply, enough for him to lose sleep as disturbing images flood his mind.
Before long Dan has purchased another of the macabre videos and they both realize that as much as they may want to, it's too late for them to turn back. Something terrible and inescapable has been set in motion.

Although it may seem that these mysterious videos are the most important aspect of the film they aren't really focused on to such an obsessive extent as something like say VIDEODROME. The most important aspect of the film is the relationship between Tom and Dan and indeed a sizeable portion of the movie is spent developing them. As a consequence GUT is quite a slow burn and it's a while before we are treated to the more exciting scenes. But like a lot of these slow burn psychological thrillers if you stick with it you will discover that the payoff is worth the wait.

Let's talk about the videos in question. I mentioned snuff and so logically you'll probably expect a fair amount of gore. There is some gore but the film definitely doesn't go overboard with it, in fact it is quite conservative, showing only as much as it needs to. The effects are all practical and are amazingly well done which is always  good to see. There is also a strange kind of perverse eroticism to the videos as breasts are sometimes visible and the hand of an unseen person tenderly strokes the victims before dispatching them.

For a low budget independent film GUT is surprisingly well crafted and as a consequence doesn't look or feel low budget at all. There are only a handful of characters but the acting and the writing are both a lot better than I would have first expected. The soundtrack another thing I must mention because although I watched GUT with my fiancé who commented that parts of the soundtrack were annoying and distracting, I personally found that it fit well. Parts were indeed jarring but I feel that it only added to the atmosphere of the film.

GUT is by no means a perfect film and although I've been practically raving about it, it does have its issues. The slow burn lead up will put some people off and as I just mentioned the sometimes harsh and jarring soundtrack will irritate some people as well. Some may find the ending to be a bit too brief as well and may not appreciate the film's open-endedness as a result. But for a person who can look past these flaws there is an enjoyable and fresh experience to be had in GUT and it's easily one of the more satisfying films I've seen this year. I recommend that you check it out and remember; support good indie horror.


THE EXPENDABLES 2 (2012) Review

Directed by: Simon West
Starring: Every big, burly, badass, beefcake action hero ever

If testosterone ever decided to write, star in and direct a movie you could probably expect to see something similar to THE EXPENDABLES 2. The simple premise behind THE EXPENDABLES was to try and make THE AVENGERS of action movies. Basically gather the baddest motherfuckers together to create an unstoppable force of bullets and muscle. Although the first film didn't quite deliver on what it promised, the sequel has taken everything and cranked it up to 11 and in doing so has created an infinitely entertaining piece of mindless and destructive action.

Barney Ross (Stallone) and his team of tough as nails mercenaries are approached by CIA agent Church (Willis) and tasked with recovering some sensitive cargo which was aboard a plane when it crashed. It's supposed to be a quick and easy paycheck for the Expendables but of course things don't go to plan and one of their crew ends up being killed by the ruthless villain (who coincidentally is named Vilain) played by Jean-Claude Van Damme. It seems a bit of revenge is in order. Expendables style.

Joining the cast from the first movie are the living legend Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude as mentioned, Liam Hemsworth as crack sniper Bill the Kid and Nan Yu as the innocent looking but totally capable Maggie.
Jet Li drops out early in the film which I had no problems with at all with because along with Jason Statham I never really thought he fit in that well. Unfortunately Statham is in for the long haul. But the combined forces of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Norris, Lundgren and co. creates more than enough awesome to cancel out Statham's douchiness.

The movie get straight into the action, skipping the usual opening credits and indeed the film's title doesn't appear until around the 14 minute mark. The fast-paced introduction has explosions, bullets flying every which way, bodies piling up and finally the Expendables making their narrow escape. It is a pretty epic beginning and acts as a sign of what's to come.
The next mission which is the main focus of the movie has them run into Vilain and his vicious militants and introduces us to the Jean-Claude and his portrayal of an all round bad guy which I think he did a pretty good job at. It's the second villain he's played this year, the other being in the latest UNIVERSAL SOLDIER film.

When the Expendables lose one of their own to Vilain all hell breaks loose and Barney and his gang will stop at nothing to get revenge for their fallen comrade in addition to recovering the cargo they were hired to collect in the first place.
What follows is a huge war between the two groups with plenty of guns, bodies, explosions, zip-lines, an array of locations and a truckload of cheesy one-liners and terrible but hilarious jokes. The jokes and one-liners might seem downright stupid to a lot of people but I for one think that they added a lot more humor to the film and showed that the filmmakers and actors alike weren't taking themselves too seriously. There are references to DIE HARD, RAMBO, THE TERMINATOR and there's even a Chuck Norris joke thrown in for good measure.

This may all just sound like a lot of mindless, violent fun - but that's exactly the point! Nobody should be taking this movie too seriously, all you need to do is sit back, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. Nobody here is in danger of winning a best actor award any time soon, but the explosive fun and fast pace and film references here are exactly what fans of these ageing action heroes want to see. This is ten times more fun and enjoyable than the first film and a must see for action fans. It is lacking in a few departments and some of the new characters didn't really add much to it, and the big finale between Barney and Vilain isn't as climactic as it could have been but apart from those few problems this is non-stop action and fun from start to finish. I wonder how THE EXPENDABLES 3 plans to top this?