Rather than showcasing the world's most scenic views and extravagant luxury, The Expendables 2 will have you adding to your list of no-go destinations. Filmed largely in Bulgaria, the settings are, for the most part, grim and unwelcoming. Put that aside though, and its all-star cast list is quite literally never ending. Stallone, Willis, Van Damme, Schwarzenegger, Li, Norris...and that's only half of them. As long as you're expecting at least two huge explosions a minute, an immense body count, and self-proclaimed cheesy dialogue, you will most certainly not be disappointed.
The sequel sees the Expendables team return and throw themselves whole-heartedly back into the fray of spraying bullets and epic weaponry. Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his all-star group of mercenaries are ordered to recover a safe from an aeroplane shot down in Albania. But all goes pear-shaped when the team are ambushed by international criminal Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme), who kills a member of the team and escapes with the safe.
After that the movie descends into mindless blasts and unstructured chaos, with the only vague suggestion of a storyline summed up in Ross's statement "Track 'em, find 'em, kill 'em". But if you were hoping for a storyline, you clearly haven't seen the first one, or any of Stallone's Rambo movies for that matter. From the outset it was intended and expected, and frankly any more plot line and fewer explosions would have been a disappointment for most action seekers who had paid their tenner to see it on the big screen.
The odds are of course stacked against them, and they are helped out of many a sticky situation by their CIA liaison (Willis) or fellow mercenaries (Schwarzenegger and Norris): But all the credit must go to villain Jean-Claude Van Damme, who outshines his past-their-prime co-stars to almost leave you rooting for evil to overcome good. The film also crams in far more comedy than its prequel, and heavy weapons expert Hale Ceasar (Terry Crews) cracks the obvious jokes throughout in his usual macho-man style - men, you are obliged to laugh along raucously. Women, feel free to roll your eyes.
Why the writers decided to write in Maggie (Yu Nan), escapes the thin logic of most action-thrillers. Put in the role of technical expert-cum-military soldier, she adds very little to either the storyline or the action and only succeeds in defining the film's title 'Expendable'. But it's of little consequence in the grand scheme of blowing things up. In all, this film appeals directly to its intended audience, with no desire to expand - a full throttle action movie with a cast that spans the decades.
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Date : 16/08/2012
Average price: £10.00