The Expendables 2 (2012)

The Expendables 2
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Strong action violence

Director: Simon West
Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Scott Adkins, Nan Yu, Charisma Carpenter

Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 103mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Age ain't nothing but a number
by Simon Miraudo,

Any hope I had of keeping a tally of fatalities in The Expendables 2 was quickly dashed by the opening melee, which makes the last ten minutes of The Wild Bunch look like the first ten minutes of Up. Simon West replaces Sylvester Stallone in the director’s chair for this sequel, and delivers on the bloody, giddy promises made by the original, yet broken like so many crushed skulls. It's not a total 180 from its predecessor. Additions to the already bulging cast see the small reserve of allocated ‘acting prowess’ spread even more thinly. And, unfortunately, injections of intelligence have not been added to this franchise’s daily regimen of raw eggs and horse steroids. The movie is so dumb you might find typos in the subtitles. That being said, it has a sense of humour about itself, and the ...

Any hope I had of keeping a tally of fatalities in The Expendables 2 was quickly dashed by the opening melee, which makes the last ten minutes of The Wild Bunch look like the first ten minutes of Up. Simon West replaces Sylvester Stallone in the director’s chair for this sequel, and delivers on the bloody, giddy promises made by the original, yet broken like so many crushed skulls. It's not a total 180 from its predecessor. Additions to the already bulging cast see the small reserve of allocated ‘acting prowess’ spread even more thinly. And, unfortunately, injections of intelligence have not been added to this franchise’s daily regimen of raw eggs and horse steroids. The movie is so dumb you might find typos in the subtitles. That being said, it has a sense of humour about itself, and the relentless violence should inspire whoops of glee from willing viewers. Also, there’s a scene in which Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis turn a teensy smart car into an armoured utility vehicle by tearing off the doors and blasting dozens of assailants away. There are worse ways to spend 100 minutes.

Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and (briefly) Jet Li return as the eponymous band of brawny brothers, sent around the globe to do the government's dirty work. This time around, they're joined by young gun Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Chinese operative Maggie Chan (Nan Yu). The team is sent on a mission by CIA agent Church (Bruce Willis) to recover...something.; it's not important... but are intercepted by the villainous Vilain (a suitably crazed Jean-Claude Van Damme). Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger pop up at various points, ostensibly as themselves. Everyone shoots one another. Statham says, "I now pronounce you man and knife," before stabbing someone to death. This is the plot of The Expendables 2. I can't believe I just wrote it. I can't believe you just read it.

If that all sounds derivative and uninteresting and loosely cobbled together, well, expecting anything more from a film in which character are christened 'Hale Caesar' and 'Toll Road' is a fool's errand. In theory, a motion picture should have rich subjects that are compelling and drive momentum regardless of narrative complexity. Not so here! It's undeniable, however, that there is an inherent joy in seeing elderly frenemies Sly, Arnie, Bruce, Dolph, Chuck, and JCVD sharing screen time, just as the post-credits sequence of The Avengers with Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Thor silently eating shawarma remains wildly entertaining merely because they're together at last. Not even the last Expendables could provide that simple pleasure. Here, the actors seem to mostly occupy the same physical space, instead of having been super-imposed into the frame during the editing process. Sadly, this is a vast improvement.

West (Con Air, the surprisingly decent remake of The Mechanic) knows how to handle outrageous action, and that is precisely what The Expendables 2 was made for (even if The Raid does it better). The killings are frequent and gory; the pace appropriately intense; the final battle between Stallone and Van-Damme genuinely thrilling. The comedic elements fare worse, though the effort is appreciated. Almost all of the jokes fall flat, and every second line of dialogue seems to be a reframing of each actor's famous catch phrase. But not even Schwarzenegger repeating variations on "I'll be back," over and over again can match the cringe-worthiness of Stallone's almost-romance with Yu. I don't know what the opposite of sexual chemistry is - platonic geography? - but they've got it in spades. All of these complaints are quieted by the non-stop barrage of rifle fire and exploding heads. The Expendables 2 does what it came for, and little else.

3/5

Check out Simon's other reviews here.

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Member Reviews (52)

Ian
says
Better than the first one... Plenty of action, with some added humour thrown in and some of the throwbacks or humourous shots at some of the actor's past roles was quite well done and funny in spots. Enjoyed - just don't take it too seriously...
Posted Tuesday, 2 September 2014 See my other reviews
Autumn Sadie
says
Really poor film, possibly only made for the cheesy oneliners and cameos. Errr 2 stars?
Posted Saturday, 14 June 2014 See my other reviews
The cameos and one liners made this one better than the first. A tongue in cheek homage to action movies from the 80s.
Posted Thursday, 20 March 2014 See my other reviews
garrett
says
Good stuff! Great action and humour - leave the brain in neutral and enjoy
Posted Wednesday, 22 January 2014 See my other reviews
Rob_M
says
Awesome, Was good to see Chuck Norris in some of the action scenes. Loads and loads of action scenes and some laughs thrown in. This is a great movie for the boys night in. In my opinion this is better than the first which is rare in sequels as we all know.
Posted Tuesday, 7 January 2014 See my other reviews
Lucky Lennie
says
Lots of action and some slick script writing delivered by a bunch of older action stars highlihted this surprisingly entertaining movie. And some cameos (or perhaps a bit more then cameos) from Bruce, Chuck, Jet and Arnold supported the lead actors with more than just humour.
Posted Wednesday, 30 October 2013 See my other reviews
william
says
was sick movie
Posted Saturday, 28 September 2013 See my other reviews
very good movie waiting for the next one.
Posted Wednesday, 25 September 2013 See my other reviews
Antony D
says
Action, humour and taking the Mickey out of themselves or the hero movies they were in! Over the top action, but in a humorous way.. Turn the dvd on, put your mind on zero (the plot is very shalllow) and enjoy the spectacle ! only 103 min hence one star less
Posted Sunday, 15 September 2013 See my other reviews
David Williams
says
Fun movie !!!
Posted Friday, 6 September 2013 See my other reviews
Cassie
says
Got into the movie right at the start, then our disc jumped to the middle and then suddenly it jumped to the credits. Saw about 25 minutes of it. My husband still wants to see it so it must be alright.
Posted Wednesday, 28 August 2013 See my other reviews
Loved it, Sly has aged well!
Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2013 See my other reviews
The Black Douglas
says
Pretty much the same as the first. Watchable. Enjoyable if you want to watch an action flick without having to pay too much attention. Beat what was on TV hands down.
Posted Friday, 21 June 2013 See my other reviews
Kazza
says
Thoroughly enjoyed this movie, great actors, easy to watch, enjoyable
Posted Saturday, 25 May 2013 See my other reviews
Shouldn't really review something I could only stand 10 seconds off before turning off and returning.
Posted Friday, 10 May 2013 See my other reviews
Terrible movie!! Poor performances & cliche one liners.
Posted Monday, 29 April 2013 See my other reviews
Karen
says
Not very good at all. A rubbish storyline with lines taken from their other movies which were supposed to be funny but weren't. Not very good at all.
Posted Saturday, 27 April 2013 See my other reviews
Huguette
says
Am glad that I did not spend money at movies to watch this
Posted Tuesday, 23 April 2013 See my other reviews
The only redeeming quality of this movie is the fact that actors are taking the p**s out of themselves. How some of these men still get paid to "act" is beyond me.
Posted Monday, 22 April 2013 See my other reviews
Chocextreme
says
Schlock but amusing. Doesn't take itself seriously. Favourite line 'that thing belongs in a museum. So do we!'
Posted Wednesday, 10 April 2013 See my other reviews
Rocky
says
If it does not grab you in the opening scene nothing will I loved it I watched it twice
Posted Sunday, 7 April 2013 See my other reviews
EdwardBear
says
Part one was surprisingly good. You couldn't help liking it. Part two had lots of brilliantly executed action but was poorly connected. If the actors were sending themselves up then it was worth four stars.... if not...damn!
Posted Friday, 5 April 2013 See my other reviews
too bad to be true.
Posted Thursday, 4 April 2013 See my other reviews
Hayesy
says
For an action flick it didn't do anything for me but as a comedy I was laughing my ass off
Posted Saturday, 23 March 2013 See my other reviews
jomafo
says
If it weren't for the cameos this movie would be a waste of time. Had a few chuckles
Posted Thursday, 21 March 2013 See my other reviews
Lee
says
We loved this movie, great stunts, action and a few laughs. What do these people want who only gave this movie one star, go and hire Gandhi or My Left Foot that must be the type of movie you enjoy.
Posted Thursday, 21 March 2013 See my other reviews
Taryn
says
Don't bother. Such great actors but what a bad movie.
Posted Monday, 18 March 2013 See my other reviews
Pig McGee
says
Terrible movie if you are not a fan of the 80s and 90s action heroes. Luckily I am, and this movie sees them take the mickey out of themselves.
Posted Wednesday, 13 March 2013 See my other reviews
Allan
says
hit
Posted Tuesday, 12 March 2013 See my other reviews
peppa
says
Even if you are a Rocky, Rambo and Terminator fan like me husband, this movie misses the plot. It is a good giggle to see all the old actor and their bad plastic surgery - that's about it.
Posted Sunday, 10 March 2013 See my other reviews
Paul
says
Expendables I plus Van Damme plus Chuck Norris plus larger roles for Bruce and Arnie equals Expendables II. Take it or leave it. And Stallone would be more convincing in a potential romantic situation if they cast a woman closer to his age.
Posted Thursday, 7 March 2013 See my other reviews
Awesome Action Flick. More violent and crazy than 1st movie.
Posted Saturday, 2 March 2013 See my other reviews
feller
says
sorry cant write review on movie never received, never viewed, never returned. oh yeah the leprechaun watched it inside the pillar post box, too bad he isnt writing the review.!
Posted Wednesday, 27 February 2013 See my other reviews
Cairo49
says
It is what it is. Good to see the old guys recycled, although Sly, Arnold and Dolph should really call it quits. They couldn't act when they were young, and they definitely haven't improved with age. The same goes for Van Damme, although he just seems sad somehow. The supposedly witty one-liners referencing other movies gets old real fast but it was ok all in all.
Posted Sunday, 24 February 2013 See my other reviews
Robert
says
What an entertaining movie. Full of every action movie star ever made and none of them mind making fun of themselves.
Posted Thursday, 21 February 2013 See my other reviews
Ros M
says
Fantastic flick all round - Again. Never fails to entertain. Excellent viewing. Looking forward to Expendables 3.
Posted Monday, 18 February 2013 See my other reviews
Shane I
says
Classic. Need to do more of these movies with heaps of big name actors in them. Love the references to past characters
Posted Friday, 15 February 2013 See my other reviews
Andrew
says
I think this movie will mainly appeal to those people that grew up through the '80's watching the older members of this cast at the peak of their powers. As I am one of those, I got a kick out of it. Minimal story, minimal acting, maximum firepower and maximum corny jokes. Some great moments with Arnie, Chuck, Sly and Bruce sharing the screen. Like it for what it is. Expendable.
Posted Wednesday, 13 February 2013 See my other reviews
Could not get past the first 5 minutes, bloodbath, not my cup of tea
Posted Monday, 11 February 2013 See my other reviews
james
says
if you ignor the abvious, and just sit back a enjoy the action, its alright, the over the top one liners each use from each others movies get a bit much, but fun to see all these big names in the one movie..?
Posted Tuesday, 5 February 2013 See my other reviews
MA perhaps should be Comedywith lots of violence and blood and guts. Still enjoyable though, with lots of one liners from the old boys other movies. Easy laughs with an easy storyline.
Posted Tuesday, 5 February 2013 See my other reviews
good escapism dont take it serious and you will enjoy much much better than I thought
Posted Sunday, 3 February 2013 See my other reviews
Kim
says
My rating says it all.......a shocker, don't waste your time!
Posted Saturday, 2 February 2013 See my other reviews
Larry
says
Incredibly bad ! Only for people who hate Movies with a realistic and interesting story !
Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 See my other reviews
Johnson
says
The script is light, the acting painful (did anyone ever think Dolph Lundgren should act?) -- but this movie's like deep-fried Mars bars... a guilty pleasure. There's something wonderful in seeing all the old action stars come together, even if it is just to splatter goons who seem to be firing blanks. Silly, enjoyable, disposable.
Posted Wednesday, 23 January 2013 See my other reviews
Adam
says
Bad real bad .rubbish, shite, moronic,horrible.Apart from that is was poorly acted,terrible direction,shockingly bad special effects with a stupid story.
Posted Sunday, 20 January 2013 See my other reviews
great movie awesome cast
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2013 See my other reviews
wally
says
good movie full action brilliant
Posted Monday, 14 January 2013 See my other reviews
I'm rating this on behalf of my husband and his mate (.. I ordered this one for them, not me). So I asked for feedback and was told to give it 5 stars. Apparantly it was excellent. The two guys saw the first movie at the cinema and loved it.. so they wondered how the next one would measure-up. Apparantly it met and exceeded their expectations. It wasn't predictable and they appreciated some 'surprise' twists and turns.
Posted Sunday, 13 January 2013 See my other reviews
Georgie
says
Awesome movie. Heaps of action & some funny bits. Loved seeing all the old school actors together...
Posted Tuesday, 8 January 2013 See my other reviews
Great movie, very entertaining. Good to see the old team back
Posted Monday, 7 January 2013 See my other reviews
.
says
.
Posted Friday, 5 October 2012 See my other reviews
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