Owing a financial debt to Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) from the fiasco in South America, Barney Ross (Stallone) and his team of mercenaries are forced back into action. This time the mission sends them to Eastern Europe in an attempt to retrieve sensitive materials stowed away in a safe located in a downed aircraft. Church assigns a female along for intel, which naturally doesn’t sit well with the chauvinistic Ross. The seemingly easy payday quickly goes awry, and the youngest member of the team (Liam Hemsworth) is murdered by a dangerous terrorist, Jean Villian (Jean Claude Van Damme). Van Damme steals the screen in his brief moments, and Stallone has wisely cast him in the right role. His quips and odd physical gestures make for a memorable screen presence, far more menacing than the weak latin general of the first film.
Now, what started as a simple snatch has morphed into a quest for revenge. This inadvertently puts the squad in the position to stop the illegal sale of five tons of weapons grade plutonium. All of this is played so broadly that the story is just a clothesline to hang some manic gun battles and macho posturing on. Sadly this series still hasn’t hit its stride or potential, a sequence featuring a village of female warriors is straight out of Corman territory. Even with all the action and star-power, both The Expendables and now it’s sequel feel like Stallone and company are picking low hanging fruit. Call me easily entertained but, I was undeniably and sometime unreasonably entertained.
Director: Simon West
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Jason Statham