The Expendables 2 Movie Review

Although there's been no attempt to tone down the first film's bloodthirsty hyperviolence or dim-witted plotting, this sequel is a massive improvement simply because they have fun with the premise. As a result, so do we.

Barney (Stallone) and his team of ageing mercenaries are coerced by Church (Willis) into heading into hostile territory to retrieve a top secret electronic gadget. Most shocking is the fact that Church insists that a woman, Maggie (Yu), joins them. And when things go wrong, Barney leads the gang on a grisly revenge mission against a nasty villain (Van Damme) who's callously putting humanity in peril. Along the way they're joined by Church and Trench (Schwarzenegger), and get help from lone-wolf Booker (Norris).

As with the first movie, the dialog is so blunt that it gives very little insight into characters or plot and certainly never explores the issues raised by the story. As in Stallone's other action scripts, there's a total disregard for human life: if someone looks vaguely shifty, shoot them. Hundreds of anonymous people are massacred in this film, and only a few are actually established as baddies. And important central ideas of camaraderie and justice are so thinly established that they almost don't exist.

But then it's irrelevant that the plot doesn't make sense. Or that there are so many continuity errors that we begin to think there must be a magical hidden dimension (exactly where is that jet ski door on Barney's plane?). And with a movie this corny, does it matter that it includes painfully inept performances from usually skilled actors? Amid a sea of hair dye and botox, relative youngsters Statham, Hemsworth and Yu are the only recognisable human beings.

So it's good that the filmmakers pack every scene with sparky banter, clunky innuendo, fetishistic costumes and references to the stars' other action franchises. These are amusing, but not as laugh-out-loud hilarious as Barney's philosophical musings. "Why do the ones who deserve to live end up dying," he wonders, "and the ones who deserve to die end up living?" Whether or not you spot the critical flaw in that reasoning, you'll have fun with this empty-headed romp.

Comments

The Expendables 2 Rating

" OK "

Rating: 15, 2012

Advertisement

More Sylvester Stallone

Uneventful Box Office Maintains Summer Momentum

Not much to report from the box office after this week – despite all its manpower, Expendables 3 just couldn’t outgun previous chart toppers Teenage...

"Turtles" And "Guardians" Dominate This Weekend's Box Office, While "Expendables 3" Is Just... Expendable

With the weekend almost over (sigh) it’s time for a box office report. Unsurprisingly for the middle of August, this one features a whole lot...

The Expendables 3 Reassembles The Troops

Sylvester Stallone and his franchise for ageing action stars is back! Yes, the gang has nearly doubled for the latest Expendables adventure, stirring in big-named...

Boneheaded 'Expendables 3' Isn't Fooling Anybody

We sort of got the point ofThe Expendables(2010). It was fun, nostalgic and silly. Most people enjoyed it - which Sylvester Stallone took as "please...

Advertisement

The Expendables 3 Movie Review

Striking a tone somewhere between the po-faced original and the silly Part 2, this rampaging action nonsense is badly overcrowded and chaotic, but there's plenty...

Ok, So 'The Expendables 3', But You Know Sylvester Stallone Hates Guns, Right?

A huge proportion of those hitting the cinemas this weekend will be watching Sylvester Stallone shooting people's heads off in a bid to defeat the...

'The Expendables 3' Is Saved By Mel Gibson's Clever Conrad Stonebanks

The Expendables 3 isn't great -but you knew that already. It's essentially Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham shooting people's heads off, so it can't be...

A Week In Movies: Expendables And Bradley Cooper Spotted In London, New Trailers For St. Vincent, Into The Woods And More

The world premiere of The Expendables 3 took place this week in London, attended by Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Kellan Lutz and Wesley...

Advertisement