Barney Ross (Stallone) and his rivet crapping tough mercenaries are neck deep in gunpowder as they infiltrate a terrorist camp somewhere in Nepal. Shooting, stabbing, punching and frying pan fighting (yes frying pans!) gets the team to their target. The objective is to extract a rich Chinese billionaire for reasons unknown. Much like Liam Neeson in the A TEAM, Barney runs into Trench (Schwarzenegger) who has beaten him to the price. However the Terminator has been bested for the time being by the terrorists and is grateful to see his ex-comrade. Simon West and his team of explosive experts blows up the place in a million dollar fashion as the mercenaries take off to the skies in the trusty old Sea Plane. The first thumbs for this motion picture is its special effects.

Billionaire contractor Church (Willis) approaches Barney with a mission. To retrieve an article from a wreckage of a plane that has been shot down. Church adds in a member to Barney’s team. A woman named Maggie (Nan Yu). Along with Maggie and the rest of his mercenaries, Barney extracts the article from the wreckage only to have it bargained off him by a man only referred to as by the villain (Van Damme) who holds Billy (Liam Hemsworth) one of his crew as hostage.

Amidst the fire power and knuckle bashing there isn’t much room to elaborate on certain obviously visible traits of sense making (emotion) in THE EXPENDABLES 2. It would not be inappropriate to consider THE EXPENDABLES 2 as a motion picture made primarily aimed at fans of the veteran stars. It has been too long since Schwarzenegger and Norris were on the wide screen. As memory serves it would be T3 and WALKER TEXAS RANGER; hence the excitement about the movie THE EXPENDABLES 2 apart from the already killer cast. This is the motion pictures second thumbs up.

Whilst this critic has forgotten entirely what the first installment of THE EXPENDABLES was like it is without a doubt that it will not be the same for the 2 installment. CON AIR director Simon West who takes over from Stallone and is craftily working his behind the camera wizardry. One cannot but see a few similarities in the direction approach to the art of war of THE EXPENDABLES 2 and CON AIR. The seaplane involved stunts, the gunfights, the bear fisted bashing with knuckle dusters along with precise camera placement are evidence of well planned and executed direction and cinematography. It would be wrong if it isn’t highlighted that this picture will be most entertaining to the fan boys of action movies who simply like nothing more than explosions, gun fire and boisterous slapstick comedy. The third thumbs up come in a two-folded manner. First being that this movie is much better than the first one and the second being the cinematography is powerful and consistently rapid firing just like the 50 caliber machine guns in the movie.

Statham and Stallone keep the testosterone flowing while Terry Crews is as always the funny big guy. Jet Li is short lived in this installment and is truly missed by his fans while Arnie, Norris and Bruce slap out some dialogue that are humorously connected with those great movies of the yester-year. Having been a fan of Van Damme since the growing years this critic is certainly amazed how the 52 year old martial arts expert still pulled out his round house kicks. If one may compare his kicks with that of the all time favorite Van Damme movie HARD TARGET from 1993, the kick just looks the same. If he had support or not is an entirely different factor, as for the audience, the star still is very able of kicking butt.

After the close encounter with disappointment in the first movie many still have doubts about this as well. To be said in the simplest form of summary; THE EXPENDABLES 2 does not have time for starting credits. It explodes in your face with action and rarely takes a breather during in 103 minutes of runtime. Decently balanced with humor and compressed with Hollywood royalty the only miss is the shallow story. With this kind of “oooomph” pressurized into 103 minutes it makes sense why Simon West let the reins lose on the story value. Personally with this kind of action one does not need a storyline to be entertained.

A movie for the fan boys strictly. THE EXPENDABLES 2 still stands in the top 10 at the US box office for total gross for 2012.





RATING: 07/10

RUNTIME: 103 minutes