The Expendables are back in The Expendables 2! The band of elite, muscular mercenaries led by Sly Stallone are once again causing mayhem in far flung places under the guise of maintaining international security. The first Expendables film brought together some of action’s biggest names but there were some notable stars either missing or in brief cameo roles. In this second instalment, out on Friday, a couple of those omissions are addressed and there’s bigger roles for Schwarzenegger and Willis. What’s not to like?
The plot is mercifully simple, leaving more time for wanton destruction and one liners. After accepting a straightforward job for Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), the Expendables are soon set on revenge after one of their team is murdered by rival mercenary, Jean Vilain (yes, Vilain), played with relish by Jean Claude Van Damme. Vilain also has plans on stealing large quantities of plutonium, which is never a good sign.
Director Simon West is best known for directing Con Air and The Expendables 2 shares that film’s sense of ridiculousness. There’s some intentional laugh out loud moments as the most high profile stars play on their previous personas and there’s action in spades too, most of it extremely violent. There was once talk of this film gaining a 12A certificate, which looked a bit silly as the body count soared past three figures.
This is one of those films where it’s pretty easy to deduce whether it’s for you or not. Take a quick look at the cast list, if any of them appeared in an 18 certificate film you loved in the 80s or 90s then the chances are you’ll have a blast.