Simon West has been signed to direct The Expendables 2, a decision being blasted in the world of badass cinema.
I love The Expendables, but not necessarily Stallone's direction. I thought he did a tremendous job with Rambo, but in Expendables it just seemed messy. Too much shaky-cam and shaky-cam drives me nuts. When i'm watching a movie, an action movie to be exact, I want to see what the fuck is going on and who's fighting who. Michael Bay, you reading this? So when I heard Stallone was not going to return as director for the inevitable sequel, I was a tad bit delighted, thinking ooooohhhh what big name action director are they going to get to bring this franchise to the next level! Simon West? For real?
The guy is alright, but not who I would have expected to be chosen for this. If you don't know his work, he did Con Air, Tomb Raider, The General's Daughter and The Mechanic. The Mechanic, his latest, was alright. Nothing really special to distinguish him from any other director. And when it came to the action sequences, crap. Shaky-cam shit all over again. So i'm not happy with this news. I hope he hears the criticism and does something about it. This is an action fans dream ensemble cast and as far as mindless action movies go, something a badass cinephile can geek out and look forward to.
My personal pick? Craig R. Baxley or Walter Hill. Two of badass cinema's most awesome action directors from the 80's and 90's who unfortunately haven't made a theatrical film in forever. Between the two, I would go with Baxley. From 1988 to 1991 this guy was on fire. Action Jackson, I Come in Peace and Stone Cold all came out back to back. Action Jackson is one of my favorite action flicks of all time. Though I Come in Peace doesn't have much love, I still dig it. It's a cool concept and it has it's moments. Dolph Lundgren is even surprisingly good in it. Stone Cold with ex-football player Brian Bosworth is just all kinds of cool. A straight up biker action flick. Not a single digital effect in any of these films. It's all straight up stunt work and hard work. I like Baxley for this because he's at heart a stuntman. He knows how to film and choreograph a stunt. Just watch Action Jackson if you don't believe me. He still works as a director, but just in TV now. I think he has what it takes to make Expendables 2 completely badass.
Now Walter Hill is responsible for some of the most iconic action films from the 80's. Warriors, yea I know it came out in '79, The Long Riders, 48 Hours, Extreme Prejudice, Red Heat, this guy was a god to people like me. He hasn't directed a big budget film since 2002's Undisputed though, but he's finally slated to direct Stallone in a new action film in the near future, so I think it's time to show the world he's still got it.