SYLVESTER STALLONE   JASON STATHAM   JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAME   JET LI   DOLPH LUNDGREN   

CHUCK NORRIS   BRUCE WILLIS   ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGER   TERRY CREWS   LIAM HEMSWORTH

THE EXPENDABLES 2

 The fact that the first Expendables film in 2010 did so well spawned this sequel, even though some of the cast from the original didn’t return. Stallone, who directed the original, steps down and lets Simon West (Con Air, Tomb Raider) helm this overblown sequel. I gave the original a D- mostly just because of the lack in creativity. Expendables 2 is all about the corny jokes, and with the body count so high, there is nothing but continuous action with no need for character development, not that any of these brawny actors know anything about that. I can’t say there is one scene that stands out as even a slight reason to waste time or money sitting down to watch this movie.

Barney Ross (Stallone) owes money to Church (Willis), and his team must protect Maggie (Nan Yu) as she retrieves secret codes for dangerous uranium. As fate would have it, the team is compromised and their new worst enemy, Vilain (Van Dame), makes his presence known and shows the team no mercy. The aging fighter team must face death once again and team up with some extraordinary people from their past to see this mission through.

The cheese is even deeper in this sequel, mostly due to the lines from Schwarzeneger, who does everything but wink at the camera and say that he is so glad to be on screen again. Stallone’s handlebar mustache is truly creepy and disturbing. Once again, we get to see mostly has-been actors of the 80’s and 90’s pretending to save the world like they used to. Statham and Willis are the only actors in this film that really don’t belong due to the fact that they still have very active working careers. I had heard upbeat things about Yu joining these old men, but her role doesn’t add anything exciting to the script.

As I sat watching these actors, who certainly look impressive for their age, I couldn’t help wonder what happened in each of their careers that resulted in relying on something like this project (which is really just a farce) just to get back into acting. Many of the action stars of yester-year are irrelevant today because they were never actors to begin with; they are just muscle, attitude and a fan base. Actors like Willis and Mickey Rourke, who bowed out of the sequel, have range that allow them to do other things unlike many of the faces we see here, who are playing the one and only character they have played their entire careers yet again.

Final Thought – No better or worse than before; relentless action, predictable nature, and bad acting make for boring entertainment.

 Grade D-

By: Dustin Chase W.