The Expendables 2 (R16) (103 min)
Directed by Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Chris Hemsworth.
There was a moment, about 15 minutes into The Expendables 2, when it occurred to me that Jean Claude Van Damme wasn't in it. And I began to wonder why. With Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis all present and correct (Chuck Norris turns up later) then the Muscles from Brussels seemed like a telling omission.
And then, right on cue, Van Damme appeared, and Stallone's retirement scheme for aging hams was fully subscribed.
I remember quite enjoying The Expendables the first time around. It seemed to me to be efficient, self-aware, and - for a film with a body count in the hundreds - slyly good humoured.
Or else I was just in an outrageously happy and generous mood that day. This sequel, not so much. The joke has grown stale with a second telling, and the novelty of seeing a generation of action stars - most of whom jealously guarded their own franchises in the 80s and 90s - playing together in the same film, has worn thin.
Add to that a script of surpassing laziness, and some of the worst dialogue I've ever heard mumbled (And no, it's not deliberately, satirically bad. It's just bad.) And The Expendables 2 starts to look like a prime-candidate for ''wait for the DVD''.
- © Fairfax NZ News