DVD Review: The Expendables 2

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone, left), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham, center) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews, right) in THE EXPENDABLES 2.  Photo credit: Frank Masi

Back to war.

The Expendables 2 (2012) is bulging of testosterone. Nearly every popular action star since the 80s is in this film, along with recent icons from popular culture. Under normal circumstances, one wouldn’t think they’d come out of retirement for a few last thrills, right? Well Sylvester Stallone and the gang have come back, once again, to show the world they still can dish it out as good as back in the good ole’ days.

The famed mercenaries led by Barney Ross (Stallone) rescue people and retrieve items of value to whomever hires them. While on assignment in the mountains in Albania to retrieve mysterious cargo, one of their newest team members (Liam Hemsworth) is killed by rival mercenary and weapons dealer Jean Vilian (Jean-Claude Van Damme). Now the Expendables must avenge their fallen brother and save the world.

This film has a definite target demographic, and that’s anyone who has ever seen and loved films such as The Terminator, Die Hard, Rambo and Rocky. If action is one’s preferred genre, then The Expendables 2 is a must see. As expected, most of the actors are visibly older than they were in the prime of their careers, but still capable of completing the task at hand. The chemistry between everyone on the set was very good, and it is fun to see personal interactions between all the characters. Unfortunately, Hemsworth’s character was killed off in order to create a sentimental element for the plot to progress. He was a pretty solid actor and had skill, so it was a shame to see him go away in such a predictable manner.

Another issue with the film is the short amount of screen time Jet Li was given. He’s Jet Li. Why was he only used for few fight scenes and to bring a Chinese billionaire back to Beijing via parachute? Couldn’t he have returned to kick more ass? That’s some bullshit right there. 

Since The Expendables 2 has a lot of iconic stars in its lineup, it contains a plethora of catchphrases and puns related to the actors’ other famous movie roles. The dialogue within the film is nothing memorable, and the plot was heavily cliched. Bruce Willis just said all what was needed to be said and all hell would break loose–and that’s apparently all we needed to know.

Good to see a solid female lead in the film Yu Nan, and her fighting skills could have been more of a feature than what we see. There are romantic undertones lingering between Nan and Stallone’s character, but thankfully the relationship turned into a never ending romance drama. There is just too much going on in the film for distractions.

Overall, The Expendables 2 is a decent action film. Blood and bullets with all of your favorite action stars won’t be a bad addition to a DVD collection.

The Expendables 2 special features include:

  • Audio commentary with the director (Simon West)
  • Gods of War: Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Antiheroes
  • Big Guns, Bigger Heroes: The 1980s and the Rise of the Action Film
  • On the Assault: The Real-Life Weaponry of The Expendables
  • Guns for Hire: The Real Expendables
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel

The Gods of War featurette give the viewer a behind the scenes look into gathering the cast members from the previous film, along with a few new faces, to film a sequel. Sylvester Stallone worked very hard while filming and his determination to complete filming was very admirable, especially considering his age. Big, Guns, Bigger Heroes explore the psychology of Americans during the time of the 1980s as many events worldwide began to shape the movie industry in the States. Because of the Cold War, the American movie industry wanted to create heroes that could take on the issues and build up the morale of their country via their actions. On the Assault features former mixed martial artist Randy Couture testing out the weapons used in the film at a shooting gallery. Guns for Hire explore a training facility used by Trojan Securities International, a private organization dedicated to protecting government officials and businessmen in a variety of situations.

I had hoped the deleted scenes had more interactions between the rest of the characters and Yu Nan. It would have been good to see her show off her stuff. Gag Reel features some funny moments that occurred during the making of The Expendables 2.

The DVD copy of The Expendables 2 also comes with a digital copy and the ability to stream through multiple electronic venues via Ultraviolet.

The Expendables 2
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 2 stars
  • Poor

  • The Expendables 2
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 2012-11-19

Review Summary:

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.

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