Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

August 24, 2012

More cheese, please!

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:35 pm

August 24, 2012

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarznegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Chuck Norris, Yu Nam, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme

Director: Simon West

Considerably more fun than the earlier film, The Expendables 2 doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither should you. Eyeing a rickety old jet that Bruce Willis has just presented to him in one of the film’s closing scenes, Sylvester Stallone declares: “That plane belongs in a museum.” “We all do,” quips Arnold Schwarznegger, echoing your sentiments exactly.

Back to deliver a second helping of that bullets-and-blood buffet of 80s action cinema, star and co-writer Stallone (he’s handed over directing duties to Simon West this time) once again gathers his band of ageing tough guys to kick some serious ass. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture and Stallone return as a team of deadly mercenaries who, in the film’s over-long opening sequence, wipe out an army of soldiers in a Nepalese village to rescue Schwarznegger. During a subsequent job assigned to them by Willis (who cameos as a CIA agent), a member of their squad is brutally killed by the film’s villain, played by fellow grisly-lion Jean-Claude Van Damme, thus prompting the hired guns to go into bloodthirsty revenge mode.

The plot, as you might have guessed, is nothing more than an excuse for this geriatric gang of beloved icons to show they’ve still got what it takes. How do you not cheer as Stallone and Van Damme get down and dirty in a hand-to-hand fight scene? Or when 72-year-old Chuck Norris makes an all-guns-blazing entry as a “lone wolf” who comes to the aid of the Expendables? How do you not giggle when the old fogies make embarrassing passes at Yu Nam, a tech genius and the sole female member in their team?

Nevertheless, it’s easy to be exhausted by the relentless stabbings, shootings and decapitations, and if it wasn’t for the film’s self-mocking humor, the charm of this steroidal sequel might have run dry early during its roughly 100-minute runtime. Of the film’s leathery-faced cast, Stallone still has a commanding presence even if he mutters most of his lines inaudibly. Statham is the real star, delivering some killer moves, particularly in one sequence in which he appears disguised as a priest. The rest are there mainly to provide laughs, many unintentional.

I’m going with three out of five for The Expendables 2. It’s dumb, silly fun. Best enjoyed with lots of popcorn.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. It’s just as you said. Dumb, silly fun. Chuck Norris made the people split in laughs. Overall, it’s enjoyable, but only if you don’t take it seriously.

    Comment by Simo — August 26, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

  2. Rajeev… You jus shocked me!!
    3, for this crap and 2.5 for ETG???

    1.5 for this one from me…
    You should have acknowledged ETH for being much better than BG, Ready and Dabangg

    Comment by Aswin Bharadwaj — August 27, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  3. i want to say, one of the worst film i have seen…
    background score……5/10
    what a rubbish combination of old aged people…..and even it can’t help in acting, frankly not a single actor proves that he is an actor!!!!!!!!!!!
    one of the worst and and artificial screenplay written………
    for me, this this is a shit movie……………don’t watch this movie if u you are lover of quality cinema…….
    i am writing this because i am writing story, developing concepts, writing screenplay….for short films………

    Comment by devansh — August 28, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

  4. you need to watch it once, just once…bcoz although most actors in this r not great actors, neither does it have good story but nothing beats the bloodrush nd the feeling of glee watching arnold, willis nd stallone in one frame raining bullets, nothing beats listening to punchline of chuck norris…the man whose jokes r fodder to rajnikants of the world, nothing soothes you more than watching van damme nd stallone indulge in a slugfest. these r the men many of us grew up watching. And eventhough they may make a total slob of a movie…i could watch it for these legends of action cinema.

    Comment by just watch it once! — November 14, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

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