The Expendables 2
Can Sly Stallone still get it up? That’s the dilemma of the first minutes of The Expendables 2 as his ageing mercenary flies his warplane low over water and struggles to clear a dam. Stallone is back for a second stab at recapturing the glory days of ’80s action cinema and so are co-stars Jason Statham, Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren. There are cameos once again from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger – but Mickey Rourke’s gone awol. Fans of bargain-bin beat-’em-ups need not worry, however, for Jean-Claude Van Damme steps in to play a villain with a stash of plutonium and Chuck Norris pops up as a ‘lone wolf’. In some ways, this is better than the first film: it ditches tedious backstories and chats between saggy has-beens in favour of more stabbings, shootings and decapitations, which makes it a more honest proposition. There are some corny one-liners and a bit more self-mockery. But it’s still a ropey film and – hair dye and wrinkles aside – if someone told you that the negative was found on the shelf of a studio that went bankrupt in 1991, you’d most likely believe them.
From Time Out London
Dir Simon West, 103 mins, opens on Thu Sep 13