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Director: Simon West
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Liam Hemsworth, Nan Yu, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris
Stallone, Statham, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Li, Van Damme, Randy Couture and Chuck Norris. It reads like a who's who of action stars. And they're all in the new action flick, 'The Expendables 2'.
Having seen the first film and not being overly impressed by it, I was worried that the producers had decided to go for quantity over quality in their casting (again).
But somehow, this time around, they got it right.
The premise is pretty simple: Bruce Willis' secretive CIA character sends Stallone's crew on one final mission to recover the contents of a safe which has been lost after the plane it was in was shot down.
But when the evil Jean Vilain (Van Damme) steals the package and kills a member of the group, he makes it personal.
Yes, the plot is formulaic and the dialogue at times is clunky, but despite this the film still shines as Stallone's crew shoot their way through an almost endless supply of bad guys and with a limitless supply of ammunition.
There are plenty of one-liners on the way, much of it self-deprecating. The humour is what makes this film stand out, with numerous quips and allusions to 'Terminator', 'Die Hard', 'Rambo' and other previous films that the stars have been famous for.
The casting of Schwarzenegger is inspired, with the 'Terminator' star stealing the scenes he's in, and the cameo Chuck Norris plays is in itself almost worth the price of admission.
Yes, there is limited substance to the plot but the action is great and the humour lifts it to the next level.
Compulsory viewing for all men out there.
'The Expendables 2' is in New Zealand cinemas from August 30.