The Expendables 2

Director: Simon West, Main Cast: Sylvester StalloneJason StathamDolph LundgrenJean-Claude Van DammeChuck NorrisBruce WillisArnold SchwarzeneggerLiam HemsworthNan Yu;

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They are back! For the aficionados of action movies and the nostalgics of the 80s/90s action heros, Stallone penned another story of the ragtag outfit of mavericks. All the usual suspects are there, plus a young addition (Hemsworth), the de rigueur, tough lady (Nan Yu) and special guest stars (Schwarzenegger and Norris). The film’s plot is very predictable and overly utilised: our heros are on a “regular” job and, after explosions and general carnage, they save the day (Jet Li makes his token appearance) and meet an old friend, Schwarzy; after going back to civilization and some R&R, CIA black ops specialist (Willis) shows up and make the usual offer they can’t refuse: retrieve some precious but mysterious item and get a full pardon for previous misdeeds. Naturally nothing goes according to plan due to the bad guy and his minions, this time is Van Damme who plays the villain (what’s the deal with being evil and having an accent?!?) and he’s pretty spry for an old man. He kills the young and full of promises hero, of course, and the mission for Stallone & Co. becomes not only saving the world but avenging the dead (nothing’s really new isn’t it?). So our misfits fight against overwhelming odds helped by Norris (who looks as lively as his Madam Tussaud’s likeness), the Gubernator and Willis, ça va sans dire, they succeed on all fronts. As viewer you get all the classics, including the final fist fight between the Good Guy and the Bad Guy (Stallone-Van Damme), the brooding, philosophical reflections about life from the hero and the sappy note from the deceased. Humour (planned and unintentional) and tongue-in-cheek references are not enough to save this uber cliched movie. —4/10

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