From the outset you can see that The Expendables 2 exists for one purpose and one purpose only - and that's to entertain cinema goers by bringing together all of our favourite 1980's heroes into one film, and it doesn't disappoint.
Leading the pack of legends is Sylvester Stallone who is back as mercenary with a heart, Barney Ross - and while the rag-tag team we met in the previous instalment is intact we do get some new blood with the addition of The Hunger Games' Liam Hemsworth as the young rookie Billy and Nan Yu as Maggie. Billy's death is tragic and an astonishing sight to behold, however it's ultimately what The Expendables need to fuel their want for justice and take down the new antagonist Jean Vilain, played by the brilliant Jean Claude Van-Damme, who wants to harvest a cache of long forgotten Plutonium to change the balance of power in the world.
Van-Damme seems to relish his time as a villain, and while this film is rather unlikely to get Oscar attention or any awards for that matter, that isn't necessarily a bad thing as Simon West's production does exactly what it sets out to do, and it does it well, whilst also settling the much debated school yard argument; who would win in a fight - Kickboxer or Rocky?
It's difficult to write a review for The Expendables 2 without giving a hat tip to home grown talent Jason Statham, who certainly holds his own alongside those that pioneered the genre, notably his fight scene in the church which is especially brilliant. He has come a long way since his days in Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels, that's for sure.
Bruce Willis is also back as Church, he and Arnold Schwarzenegger have a lot more to do after their promising introduction in The Expendables, and while there isn't much by way of dialogue, the film really doesn't need it, it's action heavy and fun to watch.
While the premise is something we have seen before many times over, West and his cast of action heroes bring humour and all the thrills and spills you would expect from this sort of film. With plenty of impressive set pieces and explosions, as well as some witty one liners and plenty of nods to old school action films like the spectacular entrance and theme music for Booker (Chuck Norris), not to mention possibly the best entrance from Arnold Schwarzenegger seen on screen (yes, he really is back!) - The Expendables 2 is a great way to spend an hour and a half in the cinema - break out the popcorn and enjoy!
The Expendables 2 has fantastic landscapes which really helps when taking us on this journey, it is fast paced and doesn't try to be something it isn't, the cast and filmmakers obviously had a blast making it, and I had a blast watching it. I'd be interested in seeing where they go from here, as there are a few (albeit not many...) action heroes Stallone and co. haven't tapped up yet.