Review: The Expendables 2

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Scwarzenegger are among the galaxy of action stars in this film

Once in a while a cinematic experience comes along that sweeps us off our feet. It pleases both the critics and the masses, gathering Academy awards on its path to glory.

The Expendables 2 will do NO such thing: it doesn’t have what critics call a superb screenplay and it’s not Oscar material.

But if there was ever an award for the the best “raw blood, macho, action movie ever”, it would go to The Expendables 2 hands down. Period.

Sylvester Stallone’s genre of film-making is a winner from the first shot and brings back to the screen the now elusive muscle action movies that were popular in the ’70s and ’80s. Stallone co-wrote the screenplay with Richard Wenk, and Simon West directed the film.

True, the present generation adores superheroes and sings to the tunes of Justin Beiber but there is no doubt that The Expendables 2 will have its takers for it is THE answer to the shallow special effects of movies like The Avengers.

And it offers an amazing ensemble of past action heroes that boys used to dream of becoming at one point. As actor Jason Statham says, there is no way like the “classic way”.

The movie opens in Nepal and with a lot of winning attitude: the team is there on a mission to save a Chinese businessman and end up saving a rival captured mercenary, Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

The team leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) leads the way creating havoc and saving innocent lives. He is followed by knives specialist Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), combat specialist Yin Yang (Jet Li), demolitions expert Toll Road (Randy Couture), heavy weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), gigantic Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) and new kid in the jungle, sniper Billy the Kid (our own Aussie Liam Hemsworth).

The mission successfully over, the team,  with the addition of CIA agent Maggie (Yu Nan),  is yet again enlisted by the CIA operative Mr Church (Bruce Willis) to take on a seemingly simple job.

Enter another true-blood action ass-who0per Jean-Claude van Damme (as Jean Vilain), the antagonist and ‘Satan’s messenger’. He and his group of mercenaries kill one of the Expendables, and the bloodbath begins.

The story is very predictable, and of course, good wins over the evil – though in a fight between two mercenary groups it is hard to distinguish which is which.

One frame with Stallone, Willis, Schwarzenegger and van-Damme is priceless, not to mention Statham’s fantastic skills with knives and the over-the-top grand entrance of Chuck Norris as “lone-wolf” mercenary Booker.

This movie is about the glory and the fame of the action legends of yesteryear.

The dialogue is superb and the action is at times funny, leaving one wondering why  Hollywood has stopped making strong action movies with subtle humor.

Don’t miss this testosterone feast.

As the characters say, The Expendables 2 is about “bad attitude”, “bro-mance”, and “making a statement”.

Bring on The Expendables 3.

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