Monday, August 20, 2012

"Expendables 2" really does have something important to say about national security (and it's entertainment for conservatives)

It seems as though Hollywood likes the idea of the government’s forming swat teams of expendable men who will sacrificed for political expediency, or maybe even to save the country.  (We just covered the point with “The Bourne Legacy” (Aug. 15).) Lionsgate’s franchise sequel “The Expendables 2”, from Simon West (and production company Millennium Films), continues the idea, bringing back together almost every conceivable action star in a film from a quasi-independent studio. The list includes Bruce Willis as “Mr. Church”, Arnold Schwarzengger (who is “back” from being California’s GOP governor), Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Jet Li , Dolph Lundgren, and Jean Claude Van Damme.  Add to the list the likeable Liam Hemsworth, the one “Billy the Kid”, whose chest is attacked by a knife (with eventually fatal result) in a confrontation with the enemy, and he is “sacrificed”.  And he has a devoted girl friend and probable future family.  Even George Gilder might not approve of showing promising men this “barren” before having families.  Otherwise, yes, this is a movie for “conservatives”.  The one female, Maggie, exposed to combat  (Yu Nan) has quick-trip computer skills apparently not available from the male world (probably, Mark Zuckerberg would not volunteer to go; he has too much to lose).

I checked it out, in a big auditorium at Arlington’s Regal  complex in Ballston (before a fair Sunday night crowd), because the subtext of the plot is important.  A missing computer-triggered device contains directions to a storage place for plutonium somewhere in the former Soviet Union.  The film actually used an interesting cave in Bulgaria as a filming location (and Wikipedia reports that a stunt man died making it).  Later,  the “tag team” encounters a complete combat city, constructed by the Soviets for maneuvers in the 1980s, rather resembling the world around Chernobyl.  We do get a feel for the old evil empire.  (Again, this is entertainment for conservatives.)  The point is, of course, that policing up loose nuclear waste or fuel from outskirt areas of the former Soviet Union is a high national security priority.  It’s not just about whether Iran or North Korea could use it for a bomb (it could).  It could also be used to make “radioactivity dispersion devices.” 

The official site from Lionsgate is here.

Wikipedia attribution link for Devetaska-pestera cave in Bulgaria.
My “cf” (Film on threats to freedom) blog has a review of the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s 45-minute docudrama “The Last Best Chance” from 2006. Lionsgate could do the world a service by giving that important film commercial distribution (maybe after extending it to feature length). 

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