Sylvester Stallone is back in the sequel to the beat-em-up hit, in The Expendables 2. Stallone returns with all the tough guy favorites of action movie history: Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarznegger and yes, none other than Chuck Norris!
This time, the team is called to Eastern Europe to battle with ex-French Foreign Legion officer, Jean Vilain, played by another living legend Jean Claude Van Damme (curiously, Van Damme rejected a part in the original film, but I guess they talked him into it this time).
To balance out all of that brawn with some brains, the team is assisted technically and looks-wise by Maggie (Nan Yu), a technical expert sent to help the team. Barney Ross (Stallone) must guide the team through Nepal (to rescue a Chinese businessman kidnapped by a rogue group), Albania and Bulgaria, all to find and kill Vilain who is looking to sell leftover plutonium, which he found in an abandoned facility once controlled by the former Soviet Union.
For those who enjoyed the first film, the sequel will more than entertain. It may be somewhat lacking in the ‘character development’ areas in this sequel, but that’s okay. This is more along the lines of Commando (also starring Stallone), in that it’s an action film that only wants to be that, pure action.
In small ways, it is something of a parody of the genre, especially the first film, and is just meant for loud, gory fun. There are also some new members on the team for fans to look out for, especially Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth), who definitely gives a strong performance.
This summer ‘beat-em-up’ blockbuster gets 3 out of 5 in my opinion. It’s action packed and exciting and the mere fact that you get to see all of these iconic actors on screen kicking ass all at the same time is alone worth the price of admission! If you’re hoping for something a little ‘smarter’ then skip this one and check out The Bourne Legacy. But if it’s purely a visceral thrill you’re up for, then Expendables 2 will more than get the job done!
Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.