(l to r): Yu Nan, Terry Crews, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren

Release date: August 17, 2012
Directed by: Simon West
Screenplay by: Richard Wenk and Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Yu Nan
Rating: R 

Sylvester Stallone’s Barney is back … and unfortunately, he’s still blushing like a June bride. For a 66-year-old man who’s in excellent physical shape, Stallone should wear his age with pride, rather than making some vainglorious attempt to reverse the clock, coating his face like some Killer Klown with berry-red stained cheeks and shoe-polish eyebrows. C’mon, Sly, stand tall, visible wrinkles and all … as an august member of the AARP-Team, you’re very much alive and kicking.

If only The Expendables 2 could say the same.

On the subject of AARP and retiring: This weekend heralds the end of Summer 2012′s remakes, reboots and sequels. As a final 21-gun salute, here comes this thudding scud of a sequel that defies the word “action” with its excruciating pacing. Adding insult to injury, literally, expect an ensemble that’s treated more like a bunch of extras than a supporting cast, as well as a plethora of feeble jokes that are downright embarrassing.

Poorly scripted by Stallone and Richard Wenk, the movie starts off with a quasi-bang, as Barney’s old gang of mercenaries flies to Nepal in order to rescue a kidnapped Chinese billionaire. Aside from the billionaire, however, it seems that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Trench is tied up as well. (Look for not one but four verbal winks of “I’m back.”) Upon the Expendables’ return to the States, Barney is approached by secretive CIA operative Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), who wants to work out a deal. Since Barney is in debt to the CIA to the tune of $5 million, if he takes his crew and a crack code-breaker to Albania to retrieve “Something Important” from a downed plane, maybe all will be forgiven. The fact that the code-breaker is a woman named Maggie (Yu Nan) is a bit dicey. (Gasp! A girl traveling with the Expendables? What will they think of next?)

Things go wrong, an Expendable is cruelly slain by a villain named, what else?, Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and, even worse than his lame name, he’s about to get his hands on five tons of weapons-grade plutonium. Even though the men aren’t youngsters (many geriatric jokes abound, often spoken by a Schwarzenegger who does indeed resemble someone’s deranged grandpa), do Barney & Co. still have the right stuff to apprehend Vilain, avenge their compatriot’s death and save the world as we know it?

[For Kimberly Gadette's full review and rating on doddle, please click here]

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