2 R16, 1hr 55min
Reviewed by Katy Breheny.
If you are troubled by issues like the number of movie casualties, or whether the budget for fake blood has gone through the roof, then this is not the movie for you.
The Expendables 2 has it all - loud and messy explosions, a constant barrage of gunfire, wet-sounding sound effects and a visual "splat" as blood assaults the camera. And of course there are the decapitations!
Leader of The Expendables Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his team of "old-hands" in combat, successfully carry out a mission to rescue a Chinese businessman in Nepal. In the process they also liberate associate Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
Fresh from another mission under their belt, with their youngest recruit Billy (Liam Hemsworth) set on retiring after just one more job, the team are contacted by CIA operative, Mr Church (Bruce Willis).
Church compels the team to retrieve an item in a safe from a plane shot down in Albania.
He loans them technical expert Maggie Chan (Yu Nan) to aid their efforts.
Despite the experience of the crew, the job goes sour and they encounter international criminal Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and his mercenary group, the Sangs.
As one of their own is targeted, it gets personal and the Expendables set out to exact vengeance, and save the world from a deadly threat.
This franchise saw the return of the good old action movies of the 80s and 90s, under the big names who started it all in 2010 with the release of The Expendables.
Having receiving a relatively good reception, the concept was expanded upon in this movie, with Willis and Schwarzenegger having more developed roles.
The first few scenes set up the complete disregard for human life within this movie, because people are baddies and therefore expendable.
This might strike an off-note with some viewers and would seem out of synch with our times.
Testosterone-fuelled posturing with big guns and clunky quotes from the big names' original movies goes down like lead-filled balloons.
Likewise the frozen faces, especially Stallone's, devoid of emotion, or maybe due to botox overload, are a thing best left in the past.
Yu Nan shows absolutely no acting skills in her echoing of Stallone's lack of facial expression and flexible morals. The supposed chemistry between the pair was tired and dispirited.
Funnily enough the critics have rated this movie quite highly, while at the same time citing its plot and dialogue inadequacies. The audience also revelled in the old jokes and came out of the theatre surprisingly buoyed up.
Which may prove that good old-fashioned noisy, messy, violence still has a strong following, good movie or not.
- Manawatu Standard