There's a difference in tapping into that same cheesiness that made up the DNA in action films of the 80s and 90s and overdoing it. The Expendables 2 gets way too carried away with that aspect and dives into overkill territory more often than not.
While it's unquestionably great to see Arnie again toting a giant gun, The Expendables 2 fails to make the most of its game cast, and most surprisingly of all, is quite lacking in the action department.
Partly a cautionary tale about the dangers of decades of bodybuilding and partly a throwback to the good old days of the Reagan era, when all you needed to make an action film was a man with muscles, an exotic setting and a hundred screaming extras ...
Whatever throwback charm the first film had has been utterly Snakes on a Plane-d by this sequel, which from the start is far more pleased with itself than audience members are ever given a chance to be.
Perhaps we're pawns in an elaborate homage to excess and macho stupidity. It's purposefully - even wilfully - bad. Given that I can't prove that Simon West isn't actually that kind of wheels-within-wheels genius, he earns benefit of my doubt.