The guns are bigger, the body count is off the scale and the violence gets turned up to 11 as the action heroes of the '80s and '90s return for some serious ass-kicking in The Expendables 2
After another successful mission, Barney Ross' (Sylvester Stallone
) crew of mercenary misfits think they have earned a much-needed break. Unfortunately for them, the malevolent Church (Bruce Willis
) has other ideas, and a debt he wants Barney to repay.
When a seemingly simple job goes wrong and the Expendables lose one of their own, they are hell-bent on revenge and ... there's definitely something about stolen plutonium and ... you know what, it really doesn't matter.
Anyone expecting to see an original plotline, insightful dialogue or anything resembling actual acting should probably rethink their choice.
The film is basically a continuous gun fight on steroids, occasionally punctuated by some verbal brilliance from Stallone, such as, "We keep it light until we have to get dark. Then we go pitch black."
Go and spend a few minutes trying to work that one out.
What Expendables 2
does have (and pretty much its only redeeming feature) is bucket loads of fun and irony. The script is firmly tongue-in-cheek and everyone is having a ball.
Barney, Church and Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger
) have considerably more screen time together this time around, and the one-liners come thick and fast, usually at each other's expense. Seeing the three actors together, scything down bad guys, like they have been doing for the last 25 years, will be rewarding for the generation X audience members, and is especially impressive considering that they have a combined age of about 200.
Not to be outdone, the rest of the team have their moments also, especially Dolph Lundgren
(whose face looks like it's been carved from stone) as the laconic Gunnar, and Barney's best friend Lee Christmas (Jason Statham
Jean Claude Van Damme
, who is starting to resemble a walking lizard, is wasted as the villain (seriously, he doesn't even have a name), but the absolute highlight is Chuck Norris
reprising his 1978 character, John T Booker, in possibly one of the best cameos ever.
The Expendables 2
may not win any awards and will probably never be used in any university movie courses, but if you are in the mood for some good old-fashioned American action done like only Rambo, John McClain and the Terminator know how – then strap yourself in.
Watch the trailer here
Related story: Who's been cast in The Expendables 3?