I guess you ask yourself, how a action movie with a poorly storyline like Expendables 2 could help improve your nearly perfect book story? The story is so old and clichee that no one will ever write a eassay about it. So how could it help yours? Its easy, because it does great what it does and you should do that too! Its isn't such a problem to execute my rules. I listed 5 Points and a Bonus one for you to check. If you follow these simple rules, than you could greatly improve your own story in a way you never expected to improve it.
1) Stay true to your concept:
If you write a action story, than write a action story. Sometimes a bit of loves can't be bad, but don't loose the focus on the action part. It's the reason people brought your work and they will be disappointed if you do to much unrelated stuff to your main concept.
Thats right, be as dramatic as you can. Exaggerate it as much as you can. It's not enough to kidnap the love of his life. You need at least a time bomb under the fast moving train, assassin monkey trying to delay him and lots of explosion. Being to normal could be boring and less exciting as you think it really is. How many times does the girlfriend be kidnapped by the bad guy, at least 100 times and that only in published works this year. Its not that uncommon, so make it uncommon. Exaggerating is not easy for every story but worth it. The same goes especially for fantasy stories. If you create a city, why not set it atop a mountain, let it fly in the sky or be as big as a whole continent instead of the old mini village set in a historic setting.
3) Sometimes fun can improve a serious story:
Marvel does it now in every movie. The put in a few jokes to loosen the tension, setting a memorial reminder for the audience they will repeat days after watching till their friends tell them to stop. Even your thriller can have fun parts, because life is like that. You don't have only bad or good days, so why not putting a few good ones in at suitable times?
4) Don't be too serious with your story if your plot is too generic:
Sometimes you watch a movie and think, seriously? Thats the worst plot i ever saw, even worser than the one from Battleship... thats not good, but Expendables 2 hasn't a great and intellectual plot either! No it hasn't, but it doesn't try to tell you, that it want to change the way stories are told. It doesn't even take itself serious. They make constant fun about themselves and how absurd everything is. Some stories aren't great, but it helps to stay true with your fans.
5) Play with the audience expactitions:
There are several scenes with Dolph Lundgren, that i never thought would end like they did. He is probably the most psycho out of the team but is also the only one with a master degree. He is sometimes the man with the most knowledge and sometimes as dumb as no one could be. He is both and that makes him do unexpected things. He tries to blow up a mountain wall and explain all the chemical components. the tension rise and than it comes... nothing. he fails even after explaining everything! That was funny and unexpected.
Bonus: Add Chuck Norris! Nothing can go wrong by adding Chuck Norris as a character in your story.
The Movie was a great one, even thought the story wasn't new, but it was great executed. The characters were more fun than the most recent comedy movies i watched. Its a great feeling to see your old action heroes working together and shouting hilarious one-liners after one another.The action is absolutely unrealistic but at no moment you think it is. You just enjoyed it, because the movie never tries to be serious about it. Instead they focus on doing cool and exciting stuff. In the end, thats what you will get. A funny over the top action flick with the best action stars of all time in a setting, that focus more on characters than a deep story.