Sylvester Stallone and the gang return and this time their mission is personal.
While carrying out an assignment for Mr Church (Bruce Willis) the team encounter Vilain (Jean Claude van Damme) with fatal consequences for one of them. Barney (Stallone) immediately vows vengeance and so begins the pursuit of Vilain and his feared militia.
The Expendables 2 opens with a mega-violent rescue and then goes directly into the next mission which results in the revenge scenario. No time is spent on character development and the film suffers greatly for that.
Little is seen of Statham and the first movie’s show-stealer Dolph Lundgren. In fact, with the notable exception of Van Damme (who proves he can still deliver on the big screen), there was hardly any need for the supporting cast. This felt very much like a Stallone film, which in itself is no bad thing, but the original was such a good ensemble piece that I expected more of the same.
It is pretty cool to see Bruce Willis, Big Arnie and Chuck Norris get involved in the action but all three spend most of their screen time sending themselves up, which is ok the first time, but after four or five “I’ll be back” type quotes it begins to grate.
This sequel does deliver on a strictly action level. The fight between Stallone and Van Damme is fantastic and every 80’s action film fan’s dream come true. Let’s just hope that if there is an Expendables 3 a bit more effort goes into building on the good work done in the original.
The Expendables 2 is in
UK cinemas now.
Ric’s Rating: Good.