Terry Crews and Dolph Lundgren are not happy with how things are working out.

Rather like William Hurt in A History of Violence, I was a tad bewildered by the way The Expendables put together such a stellar cast of action stars and then delivered such a disappointing experience. Once bitten, twice shy, as they say, and so I expect more of the same from The Expendables 2, coming in August, and even less from the tie-in videogame being made by Ubisoft. But this trailer sure is fun – assuming, that is, that watching two dangerously psychotic slabs of muscle beat the hell out of a restrained gamer is your idea of a good time for everyone.

The unfortunate button-masher is, quite obviously, a proxy for your ham-handed inability to get through a level without getting your guys repeatedly killed, so the whole thing should be sufficiently meta to keep complaints about “torture as entertainment” to a minimum. And if that doesn’t work out, backup distraction is provided by the awesomely violent gameplay on display. I particularly like how you can block a punch with your left arm and then immediately level a shotgun with your right and blast a guy in the junk from six inches away. Man, that’s gotta hurt.

It’s a bit early yet to call it a theme but Ubisoft does seem to be developing a taste for charismatic lunatics in its game trailers. And while Terry Crews can’t quite manage the same level of charm as the Insane Wahine, he does have an awfully nice smile.

The Expendables 2 hits the PlayStation Network on August 1, and Xbox Live and the PC on August 17.

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