In all honesty, you already know if you want to see this film no matter the reviews. Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger together, punching people in the face and shooting everything that moves is an action fantasy fan’s wet dream. As such a bad critical reception won’t dissuade attendance (not forgetting of course that the film boasts a tonne of other action stars doing shooty/explody things and yelling stuff).
Expendables 2 is not Oscar material, nor is it ever pretending to be; however the it is very self aware and plays that card fast and often (on some occasions a tad too hard). Norris despite his cultural cache is essentially irrelevant to anything going on in the film and his screen time fails to add to the film. Arnie and Willis share probably the easiest and most engaging action banter, whilst Lundgren continues to impress in the interesting (for an action film) role of Gunnar. Statham is perhaps a little lost amongst the pile of muscled torsos all vying for screen time, but whenever he’s kicking people in the face he’s doing it as hard as he can just for you. Jet Li is in the first five minutes… maybe. Van Damme feels a bit under written, but his show down with Stallone is really all you want to see and it’s pretty damn cool.
Ultimately E2 isn’t quite up to the consistency of the first outing, but it’s super fun nonetheless.