The Horn is excited to head to Dallas this weekend for the annual Dallas Comic Con held at the Irving Convention Center. You may recognize names like William Shatner and Nathan Fillion, but there's much more to DCC than television actors. Check out the premiere artists attending this year's con.
The ATX Television Festival has announced free RSVP-based events associated with the annual festival. Don't have the money to shell out for a badge? You can still have a great time at these free events around town.
Find out if your favorite action heroes still have some kick.
On the two-year anniversary of the first “Expendables” we were given the gift of a sequel. The original was a moderately well received box office success, mostly due to a cast of aging action stars cashing on a viewing audience eager to see those stars on the screen again. Sylvester Stallone lead the helm, followed closely by Hollywood heroes Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Dolph Lundgren. The rest of the cast is filled out with a ragtag group of ex-wrestlers and retirees, much like the eponymous team of mercenaries.
While back-stabbing and redemption are a crucial part of most action films today, “Expendables 2” knows why you’re there to see it and gives you what you want: Stallone, Statham, Lundgren and the rest blowing stuff up and killing people very violently.
In the newest installment, Stallone and his group of misfits are united again by Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) to go on a dangerous mission. This time around South America is replaced with Eastern Europe, and a ruthless dictator is replaced with a roundhouse-kicking Jean-Claude Van Damme. And while the first film tried to come up with a plot that had some espionage and intrigue, this new film (to its benefit) didn’t bother. While back-stabbing and redemption are a crucial part of most action films today, “Expendables 2” knows why you’re there to see it and gives you what you want: Stallone, Statham, Lundgren and the rest blowing stuff up and killing people very violently. And it does those things beautifully. While the first “Expendables” merely dangles Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis in front of our faces, its sequel finally gives us some action from the two men. I’m not sure there’s anything better than seeing Rambo, the Terminator, and John McClane gunning down a dozen baddies side-by-side.
The most rewarding moment of the film comes early on, where Jean-Claude Van Damme gives us exactly what we want: a roundhouse kick that stabs a man in the heart. His 360º spinning kick is one of his hallmark moves, and we get it within the first act of the film. And his kickboxing duel with Stallone at the end is actually pretty gruesome and fun to watch. But here, again, plot doesn’t matter. The stolen plutonium was a total afterthought. All that mattered was seeing Van Damme be Van Damme.
Newcomers Liam Hemsworth and Nan Yu are exactly that: newcomers. Their roles are laid out very clearly and their stories are pretty easy to figure out. Yet what I found the most refreshing was that Yu’s character, Maggie, was never demeaned into a girl-in-danger role one might expect. She becomes a legitimate part of the team. And while there is affection between Maggie and Stallone’s Barney Ross, there is never a move to make her into a romantic object. She’s treated with a surprising amount of care that I found refreshing and somewhat rewarding.
Ultimately, if you head to the theater prepared for what you’re about to see (a low-plot, high action explosion fest staring your favorite 80s/90s action icons), you will enjoy this flick. While the stars of the film just barely spit out their lines intelligibly (especially Stallone, whose lines are a mumbled mess), you can tell they all love what they’re doing. Expect maybe Chuck Norris in his cameo, which is really only worth being in the film for his highly self-aware Chuck Norris joke. “Expendables 2” knows the plot doesn’t matter so it doesn’t really bother pretending to have one. It’s suitably self-deprecating, incredibly violent and a lot of fun to watch.