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The Expendables 2 (2012)

Back for War.

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 103 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

The first Expendables had everyone excited – so many iconic film stars gathered for the biggest nostalgia fest outside of a Hollywood graveyard. The sequel however hasn’t got the novelty factor on its side so Simon West – known for such aptly subtle filmmaking as Tomb Raider, Con Air and The Mechanic – had to show he’s just the man for the job. Unfortunately, he’s got Sylvester Stallone on the writing team behind him.

The Expendables 2 is again Barney Ross (Stallone) and Lee Christmas (Statham) heavy as the two mercenaries are part of the old gang put back into action Church (Willis) to tackle Vilain (Van Damme), probably Belgium’s first big screen bad guy. They’re joined by a reformed Gunner Jensen (Lundgren), the butt of casual racism Yin Yang (Li) and many more and the carnage goes relatively smoothly until one of them is killed and everything goes postal.

Basically what we have here, is a rerun of the the first one. Not that that is a terrible thing – who doesn’t like an astronomical body count totted up by a gang of largely geriatric musclemen showcasing a variety of death moves?  Well, a lot of people maybe but for those who do this has it in spades. It’s also got humour, largely unintentional, some extremely groan inducing, but also a fair amount of intentional stuff, including the pre-requisite post-kill quotes like “rest in pieces” shouted at a guy who’s ended up not in one piece. Maybe, they should cut down on the references to the actors previous films though as it’s been done to death now.

Unsurprisingly, the plot is paperthin, makes barely any sense and offers nothing extra but it’s worth a one-off viewing for action buffs and anyone with the slightest fondness for the Eighties and Nineties. Overall, you get what you expect.

It's Got: Tonnes of action, cheesy one liners, a few new faces

It Needs: For Clint to have turned up with the introduction of the Spaghetti Western music, to be watched in the right spirit


More of the same harmless killing and mostly intentional humour from this geriatric band of mercenaries. Obviously not for everyone.