The Expendables 2

  • 2012-08-22
  • By Laurence Boyce

Director: Simon West

As homage to the action films of the ’80s, “The Expendables” – a fun if throwaway adventure - was missing one vital ingredient: a sequel. Thankfully for all you action hounds, the sequel is now here and emulates its ’80s ancestors by being filled with more explosions, more stars, more blood and – perhaps most accurately of all – by not being as good as the original.

The sequel follows the band of mercenaries headed by Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) as they find themselves plunged into a confrontation with the evil Vilain (Jean Claude Van-Damme). Responsible for the death of one of their team, Vilain is determined to search an abandoned Soviet mine for uranium that he plans to sell to the highest bidders. But with “The Expendables” out on his trail and out for revenge, everything promises to get fiery.

This is just a loud orgy of bombs, blood and bullets which ramps up the violence (it certainly feels nastier than the first one) but dispenses with any of the wit and charm. There are a few enjoyable moments when Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger – in what amounts to extended cameos - basically make fun of themselves and their careers (whilst stealing each other’s catchphrases). But, these moments aside, it’s a rather dull affair that lurches from fight scene to fight scene with some rather ham-fisted attempts at adding an emotional back story. Stallone squints his way through - as does most of his team - while Van Damme hams it up so much that you can smell bacon wafting from the screen.

West can stage an action sequence no-doubt but that’s about all he can do. It’ll go down well with the ‘Beer and pizza on a Saturday night’ brigade but others should find their action elsewhere.

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