Sly and co are back again to kick ass and take names, or more precisely, shot hordes of faceless bad guys in the splatter of CGI blood. Every one is back this time round, with more Bruce (Willis) and Arnie (Schwarzenegger) and less Jet (Li). With a new young recruit Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and CIA agent Maggie Chan (Yu Nan) in tow, the gang head to Albania to retrieve something of importance… blah blah… Not that the plot matters in anyway, all that matters is Stallone and the gang, run around and fire big guns and make wise cracks about how long in the tooth they all are. Joining in on the fun is Van (the man) Damn, after turning down a role in the first installment. Jean-Claude gets to twiddle his mustache as the villain called Vilain (get it) and has fun playing the antagonist, channelling an evil Bono (sunglasses on at all times). It’s a shame he doesn’t stick around much, as it’s a change of the hero roles that he usefully plays and it suits him well. Everyone feels under used in The Expandables 2 favor of Arnold, Stallone, Willis and (recently added) Chuck Norris, to quip each others Catchphrases at each other. Crews and Couture barley get a look in, and Dolph gets to have a little fun but much, other than make uncomfortable advances at Nan as she looks all gooey eyed at Stallone.
The joy of the first installment, was seeing all these iconic though guys fighting each other side by side and was gratuitous fun. However this time round, there is only two squire off’s, while every single 80’s action star, turns up to shoot things while patting each other on the back. As irrelevant as the story is, but it goes along the lines of avenging the death of one of their own, and if you can’t guess witch one it will be within 10 minutes in, then you are really not trying. Seeing the big three standing side by side does stir up some joy, as does the Stallon and Van Damn’s face off and Jason Statham has a tasty fight with Vilein’s henchman played by Scott Adkins. The key relationship is still Statham and Stallone and the two still have good chemistry, but the by the time the credits roll, you will leave feeling short changed.