The Expendables 2 (cert 15): Arnie said he’d be back - REVIEW & VIDEO

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HE said he’d be back and Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger says he is happy to be back in the movie business after he stepped down as Governor of California.

Schwarzenegger, aged 65, marks his comeback starring role in The Expendables 2 and was joined on the red carpet by co-stars Sylvester Stallone, 66, Jean-Claude Van Damme, 51, Dolph Lundgren, 54, and Jason Statham, 44, in London’s Leicester Square for the UK premiere of the action extravaganza.

He's back: Arnold Schwarzenegger arriving for the UK Premiere of The Expendables 2, at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire.

He's back: Arnold Schwarzenegger arriving for the UK Premiere of The Expendables 2, at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report from the London red carpet premiere of The Expendables.

REVIEW: For a review of The Expendables 2, see bottom of this story.

Schwarzenegger, who was California Governor until 2010, said: “I am very happy. I was very happy to be in the movie business before, I was very happy to be Governor of the great state of California, and I’m very happy now to be back in the movie business.

“That’s the great thing about my life - it’s like a joyride, going from one thing to the other with great ease, and it makes it fun. It makes life spicy.”

Also at the premiere were members of the Royal Navy and medal-winning athletes from America’s Olympics team.

Schwarzenegger said: “I think the Olympics is something you all can be very proud of - if you’re from Great Britain, that is!

“You have done an extraordinary job, it’s amazing the amount of medals Britain has won. All of it gave me goose bumps even though I’m not from here.

“Great Britain has pulled together and it just shows you, when you pull together community happens.”

It was Stallone’s first public appearance since the death of his 36-year-old son Sage last month.

He posed for pictures but did not stop on the red carpet.

The film, which is released in cinemas across the UK from Thursday, also stars action heroes Bruce Willis, 57, Jet Li, 49, Chuck Norris, rising star Liam Hemsworth, 22, and Chinese actress Yu Nan as the first female Expendable.

Stallone wrote and starred in the sequel to box office hit The Expendables, which he also directed.

The Expendables 2, directed by Simon West, sees Barney (Stallone) lead his team of mercenaries on a mission which goes terribly wrong when Van Damme’s villainous character takes them by surprise.

REVIEW: THE EXPENDABLES 2 (15, 102 mins)

Released: August 16 (UK & Ireland)

Action/Thriller. Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Dame, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Yu Nan. Director: Simon West.

EARLIER this year the New York Times Magazine declared the all-American action hero an “endangered species” but Sylvester Stallone and his posse of Eighties action stars are back to prove otherwise, writes Susan Griffin.

The Expendables 2 comes off the success of the first instalment back in 2010, which Stallone wrote and directed.

This time the man formerly known as Rocky has decided to hand over directing duties to Simon West of Con Air and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider fame.

It’s a rip-roaring, machine gun-toting, cameo-fuelled spectacle that’s biggest challenge for the cinema-goer is clocking up the famous movie quotes that get a nod.

Take Schwarzenegger and his famous Terminator line: “I’ll be back”.

In this he says: “I’m back”, “I will be back”, “I’m sure to be back soon”.

At least that’s what it feels like. You get the picture.

But The Expendables 2 is a lot of fun - and pretty camp in its own violent way.

Stallone returns as Barney Ross, the goateed head honcho of a band of mercenary veterans that includes Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li) and newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan).They’re brought together when Mr Church (Bruce Willis) enlists them for a seemingly simple job but things go awry and they are compelled to seek revenge in what’s described as “hostile territory”.

To be honest, who knows what’s going on with the plot?

It’s something to do with plutonium but plot isn’t the main priority in this old-school romp.

It’s really just an excuse to fit as many gun fights and explosions in as possible. Clearly West really likes the blood splatter effect as uncredited extras are gunned down in their hundreds during the 102 minutes of action.

Fans of the Eighties action movies are going to love it as star after star make an appearance.

There’s also a hand-to-hand fight between Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme, who revels as the film’s arch villain Jean Vilain, while Schwarzenegger and Willis zoom around in a Smart car and martial arts legend Chuck Norris turns up for inexplicable reasons.

If you’re looking for the meaning of life, then The Expendables 2 won’t be for you, but then it never promises to offer anything other than bad-ass action. And there’s plenty of that.