The Expendables 2

Posted August 18, 2012 by in


Total Score

2.5/ 5

Quick Stats

Director: Simon West
MPAA Rating: R
Actors: Jason Statham , Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth
Length: 103 minutes
Release Date: August 17th 2012
Studio: Millennium Films, Nu Image Films

What We Liked:

campy sense of humor, has fun with itself.

What We Disliked:

action isn't exciting, nonsensical plot, poor storytelling.
What We Thought

There’s really only three action scenes in the entire movie, none of them exciting. Expendables 2 feels closer to a class reunion than an actioner.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article

For all the gunfights, fisticuffs, and explosions, The Expendables 2 isn’t at all exciting.  It is a fun and funny movie, but if you’re looking for an adrenalin fix, you’ve come to da wrong pahtee, as Arnie might say.

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his team of mercenaries are tasked with escorting a safe cracker (Nan Yu) through the forests of Albania to recover top-secret files hidden in a safe located in a downed airplane.  They retrieve the files, but are ambushed by Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and his men, the Sang.  Vilain absconds with the files, but not before killing Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth), Ross’s newest recruit.

It turns out the files contain a map to mines containing a stash of plutonium.  With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, and a personal score to settle with Vilain, the Expendables’ mission is simple:  ”Track ‘em, find ‘em, kill ‘em.”

Jet Li leaves the film after some ass-kicking in the film’s opening action sequence.  The opening is nicely cut together, and looks like the climax to another movie.   This is where the movie gets the bulk of its kabooms.

The Expendables 2 is only 100 minutes long, but it feels longer.  It gets bogged down in dialog scenes where the big fellas banter and trade come-backs, filling in time between the set pieces.  There’s really only three action scenes in the entire movie (there’s a brawl and a shooting gallery scene each too brief to count), and it just doesn’t keep the pressure on.  Expendables 2 feels closer to a class reunion than an actioner.

Chuck Norris walks away with the best line in the movie that is itself worth the price of admission (for a matinee at least).  Van Damme makes for a fun villain, and he can still throw a mean kick.  This is something the movie got right; a main villain that can actually fight.  Statham has some nice fight scenes himself, and I would have liked to have seen him, Norris or Li go up against Van Damme.

The story couldn’t be worse.  Ross and company get rescued several times, each time introducing a new character, or putting old ones into play.  How these people know to be in these places at these times is not explained.  The premise is ludicrous, not that it matters.

The Expendables 2 is designed for fan worship, and nothing more.  It’s fun to watch the big stars steal each other’s lines and engage in goofiness.  Other than star power and budget, it’s not much different than Soldiers of Fortune, and costs us the same ticket price.  It is worthwhile.  Barely.

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


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