The Expendables 2
With a script seemingly dashed off on a chalkboard, “The Expendables 2” lives up to its title in the most pejorative way. Everything about this bombastic goofball action movie screams “disposable.” Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger mumble their lines as if they have rocks in their mouths, while Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham come across as if they have rocks in their respective heads. Loaded with violence-for-violence-sake sequences of blood-splattering killings, the story lurches from one senseless battle to another. Stallone’s mercenary gang-leader Barney Ross owes Bruce Willis’s kingpin Mr. Church a big debt. To settle up, Barney takes on a mission that entails the participation of hotshot bad-chick Maggie (Yu Nan). Yu Nan’s superior acting skills elevates the movie if only by degree. Alongside poorly paced action sequences, the worst thing the movie has to offer is dud jokes and repetitive lines of sopping wet dialogue. For his role as the story’s baddie Vilain, Jean Claude Van Damme works some undermined magic. A mano y mano showdown between Barney and Vilain allows Van Damme to show off his signature aerial roundhouse kick. Of all the aging action stars on display, Van Damme retains the mojo of his youth better than the rest. If only the filmmakers had seen fit to stage a fistfight between Van Damme and Jet Li.
Rated R. 103 mins. (D+) (One Star - out of five/no halves)