Director: Simon West; Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jason Stratham, Jet Lee; Rating: ***1/2
Right at the end of “Expendables”, in a shot that will give lovers of the action genre wet-dreams, Sylvester Stallone looking at a dilapidated plane gifted to him by Bruce Willis says, “That thing belongs in a museum.” To this, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is in the same frame says, “We all do.”
This dialogue in essence sums up “The Expendables 2″. Yet, as an action junkie, you’ll love it that your favourite action stars for over the last 30 years, are giving the new kids, ruling box office, one hell of a fight and showing that they may be old, but considering the roaring box office business, aren’t expendable yet.
A simple ‘walk in the park’ mission for the gang of ex-soldiers now renegade, for hire mercenaries “The Expendables” goes awry as one of their youngest members is brutally murdered.
Swearing vengeance, the team stumbles on the secret of Plutonium stored from the USSR regime and realises that their vendetta could end up saving the world.
As action films go, this one is average. As action sequences go, it’s better than average with enough digitally blown up heads. But as for films that evoke nostalgia, this one is way up there, despite its shoddy handling of a thin story and too many characters vying for screen presence.
Thus what audiences will love is Van Damme’s signature flying kicks, Jason Stratham’s skilful knife work, Jet Lee’s swift martial arts, Schwarzenegger’s booming guns and Chuck Norris’ “Rajnikant” act.
A joke famously used for Rajnikant, where a snake that’s bitten the superstar dies after five days of painful agony, is used on Chuck Norris.
Nostalgia is thus on full display here as Schwarzenegger repeatedly mouths “I’ll be back” only for Bruce Willis to chide him “You’ve been back enough” the last time he says, to which Schwarzenegger says, “Yippie kay-yay”.
If you put your heart or mind into the film, you’ll be disappointed. However, leave both behind and just watch it for the pure ecstasy of watching your favourite action stars, being back in action and you’ll have a fun time.
Watch it because when the said action stars were at their peak, no one could bring them together. Even if they do only at the fag end of their careers, it’s still a worthy and fun watch, enough for you to go “Yippie kay-yay” because the expendables will be back soon for a third unexpendable edition.