Last summer will go down in history as the Summer of the Action Ensemble. The Expendables, Machete, and Predators all hit in the span of about a month or so, and all featured ridiculously stacked dream casts. The Expendables was the biggest box office earner of them all, unsurprisingly. Not that it was the best of the three, but the throwback to the fun, brainless action movies of the 80's certainly simply had the broadest appeal. Making about $275 Million worldwide, a sequel was inevitable.
The big news coming out of that sequel is that, unlike the first film, Expendables 2 will not be written and directed by its star, Sylvester Stallone. Stallone is still the driving force behind this film, and is actively seeking out directors for it as we speak. Scribes David Agosto and Ken Kaufman, who previously have collaborated on and Space Cowboys and Curious George, have taken over the writing duties for this sequel.
Some may see Stallone's lack of creative involvement as a bit of a warning sign, but those who saw Part 1 and turned any fashion of critical eye upon it are likely breathing a small sigh of relief here. Part 1 was not a terrible movie, but it suffered for its direction, and to a lesser degree, its writing. The prospect of spending another couple hours enduring the outrageously close closeups pinned onto the puffy faces of its stars and egregious use of digital zoom was not something I, personally, was too excited about.
What I am excited about, though, is the potential this sequel has. The prospect of both (or either) Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a more significant part in it has ensured my ticket is purchased.