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The Expendables 2 Reviews

Page 1 of 408

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2012
Sly and his team of fellow gun-totin' geriatrics is called in to retrieve a computer hard drive that contains a map showing the whereabouts of a mine full of plutonium. The Expendables is probably the film the term 'geriaction' was coined for and it was a load of obnoxious, braindead, gratuitous shit. For the sequel, we once again dive into the world of the American male mid-life crisis which contains the same cocktail of fat-necked has-beens exterminating the most villainous villains imaginable with a variety of weapons grade phalli whilst reliving the good old days of the Cold War. The original film's gleeful representation of some unnecessarily graphic violence was its downfall but thanks to the addition of some innocent villagers to protect, this is far more in the spirit of classic kitsch TV show The A-Team and is much more palatable as a result. The cartoon violence on show here is much less repulsive in its representation, we actually get to see Chuck, Arnie and Bruce join in on the carnage rather than just regurgitating a couple of lines and disappearing as happened in the first film and Jean Claude Van Damme actually makes a far more entertaining bad guy than he ever did a hero. Of course the plot is inconsequential, the characterisation as sophisticated as a hollow point to the face and the dialogue immature and bone-headed, but The Expendables 2 has something the original sorely lacked; the necessary sense of irony and fun which makes it all amusingly idiotic rather than just plain idiotic.
EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

February 17, 2013
16/02/2013 (Online)
Dean !

Super Reviewer

February 3, 2013
More of the same over the top action, with even more cameos this time. Including Chuck Norris, More Willis and Schwarzenegger time on screen and even more cheesy lines. If they do any more they will start to be listed under comedies not action films.
Albert K

Super Reviewer

January 10, 2013
The first "Expendables": A bore.
"The Expendables 2": Even worse.

Oh "Expendables 2", you can shove in even more bodies like Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Jean-Claude Van Damme -- you can drag out an infinite supply of stampeding soldiers just to inevitably be shot at like those Call of Duty AI degenerates -- you can explode the entire scenery into smithereens -- but nothing will change the fact that your action set-pieces are boring. Nothing will change the fact that though you got the "Terminator", John McClane, and Rambo all in one frame, the action all comes narrowing down to a simple 2-step mechanic:
1) The camera faces a shooter that is shooting a gun away
2) Camera cuts to some nameless guy getting sprayed away by that shooter.
The movie's a bore, guys. That same camera cut is plastered throughout the entire hour and 42 minutes. No action? No problem -- cue the laughably awful dialogue and the ludicrously uninteresting sub-narrative. After the movie, I can't recall one memorable scene. Not one. Coupled with the flavorless acting is the ugliest looking CGI-blood ever.

Sometimes, being overbloated with tons of action scenes doesn't make your movie the baddest of them all. After all that dizzying affair of explosions and bullets, I can recall that the few action scenes "Django Unchained" had was much, MUCH more gratifying and entertaining than "Expendables 2" in its entirety. I came into this film with the least of expectations, and I was still left sorely disappointed. It may have a buffet load of action, but the quality is all crap.

Super Reviewer

December 21, 2011
The Expendables are back, and thankfully their cinematic exploits have improved.

Owing a favor to Mr. Church, Barney Ross and company accept a routine mission that should be a simple, easy paycheck. However, things go south, and one of their own is killed by Jean Vilain- the ruthless and psychotic leader of a terrorist cartel for hire. On top of that, Vilain has acquired 5 tons of weapons grade plutonium left over from the Cold War. It's not long before our heroes are cutting a swath of destruction across Eastern Europe to get revenge and save the day.

With the first film, it was fun to see so many washed up action heroes team up. However, that film was messy, troubled, and really rough around the edges. This film thankfully is more polished, bigger, more focused, and better balanced in terms of the tone. It also has more/better character development.

It also probably goes without saying that the film is also chocked full of tons of action and violence, with only some, but not all of the blood being done with CGI.The core cast returns, and they seem more comfortable in their roles this time around, having a blast. Due to scheduling conflicts, Jet Li isn't unfortunately in the film for long, but he does make the most of his limited time with a great hand-to-hand fight. In his absence we get two new members, both of whom are okay, and diversify the film some, but aren't quite as good as the others. Crews injects more humor into things, and Couture is giving a bit more room to grow, but he still could use some improvement.

Then of course come the expansions for the roles filled by Willis and Schwarzenegger, and they are a lot of fun. Chuck Norris provides a fun, but honestly kinda dull cameo. It's not awful, but could have been better. Seeing him make a Chuck Norris joke is oddly surreal, too. Then, as the villain, we get a delightfully intense Jean Claude Van Damme. I think he probably could have been better, but what we get from him is quite good nonetheless, with his final fight with Stallone being pretty tremendous.

Having Simon West take over as the director is probably the best thing about the film. He's hit and miss with his works, but even then he's got a good eye for spectacle, and yeah, he doesn't disappoint here. The action is grand, plentiful, and, best of all, clear, not choppy, and discernible.

All in all, this is a lot of fun. If you dig gloriously cheesy 80s action movies, then you'll probably dig this. This is the film that the first one should have been: a wild, silly, but undeniable blast.

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2012
Barney Ross: Why is it that one of us who wants to live the most, who deserves to live the most dies, and the ones that deserve to die keep on living? What's the message in that?

"Expendables 2 has just as much action, blood, gore, and fun as the first film. You really can't go wrong with these movies. You have every action hero you saw growing up in one film. Plus some new blood as well. I enjoyed the movie. I think I liked the first one a bit more. But this one was great too. Any action lover is going to eat this film up. One I would see again."
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

December 19, 2012
They learnt nothing from the mistakes that were made in the first film but thought a little extra Willis/Schwarzenegger screen time would make up for it but it doesn't, JCVD was ok as the bad guy but Chuck Norris's scene was embarrassing, it was a crap cameo just to get his name on the poster. Where the hell was Jet Li? This is a prime example of quantity over quality. This should have stayed as a 12 year old boy's dream rather than a reality. I hear Nic Cage is going to be in the 3rd film, yeah, that makes sense!
Edward B

Super Reviewer

December 7, 2012
The Expendables 2 is big, loud, and stupid, which is just the way it should be. Delivering on some of the most insanely ridiculous action sequences of the year, the film is packed full of hilarious one-liners, in-jokes and self-deprecating winks at the stars' respective careers. This film is strictly for fans of Stallone, Statham, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, Willis, and Norris. It's as dumb as any film these actors have ever starred in, and every bit as entertaining. It's a shame that Jet Li's role is so short (even though his cameo appearance is almost worth the admission price), but Nan Yu makes up for it with her action heroine role as a professional hacker. A wildly entertaining sequel that improves upon its predecessor in every way! Bring on Expendables 3!!
Phil H

Super Reviewer

November 21, 2012
'That thing belongs in a museum'....'we all do'

Although I hate to admit truer words have been said. I have always been a huge huge life long fan of Arnie and JCVD, not so much Stallone, Willis or Lundgren, but overall I've liked them all for various different films. But there does come a point where you gotta step back and wonder, are these guys getting a bit old for this shit?.

Again gotta admit its a HUGE thrill to see Arnie, Willis, Stallone, Lundgren AND now JCVD all together in one film. The added bonus of Adkins, Norris, Li and Statham are like I say...a nice bonus. The only missing person now is Seagal, then the jigsaw will be complete.

Once more I must admit...even though its pure fanboy heaven to see these guys together the thrill doesn't last long. The real crux of the action, what we all wanna see which is all the above guys fighting at the same time, doesn't happen until the finale showdown. When we get there its fun but ultimately rather poorly done in an ultra cheesy semi parody, edging on spoof.

This is the problem the first film had and it gets worse here I'm afraid. When I first heard of this franchise I was hyped for it, I wanted to see a proper homage to 80's action thrillers. What we got was a silly, cheesy, over the top 'G.I.Joe' type explosion fest that wasn't taken seriously. In this sequel its more of the same yet with even more corn, lashings of ham and the most weak basic plot I've come across for some time.

The visuals are impressive no doubt, stunts are manic and in your face with gun porn through the roof...yet again. Of course you don't expect a thought provoking story with high quality acting, we all know what we'll get and the film does what it says on the tin for sure. The problem for me was the whole thing just felt like a long trailer, a collection of flashy set pieces one after another, almost like watching a theme park show in Universal Studio's.

The film basically consists of tonnes of faceless baddies lining up to be gunned to pieces by each member of the Expendable team, one at a time, in a heroic pose. A shameless fusion of constant gun battles one after another with little else in between. Dialog is terrible and really makes the film more of a comedy/parody than decent action film, amusing but frustrating. Norris wasn't really in the film, he merely had a cameo which was pointless and a blatant cold cash-in, seriously his whole sequence was so stupid. I was disappointed we didn't see much of Adkins in action and some one forgot to film Randy Couture but the sight of Arnie back in action warmed my heart...even though he is clearly too old now.

I also noticed that the blood on show was very clearly CGI added after, does this mean that the original version had no blood?. Was this an 'AvP' job and made into a higher rating for the DVD release with the original theatrical version being a watered down affair for a wider audience?. If so that does show how off track they were with this whole concept, like so many other films these days. Why couldn't this whole franchise have been a proper action thriller damn it!!.

Yes I was disappointed yet again, I saw it coming of course and I knew they probably wouldn't go from childish cheese to proper semi serious adult action flick...hope springs eternal, alas!. Despite my negative opinion this film is actually better than the first for what it is. Neither are exactly what I expected but this sequel is definitely slightly more fun than the first, highlight has to be Stallone vs JCVD. To be frank JCVD saves the film with his presence, problem is its all still completely ridiculous when it needn't have been.

I must confess to not seeing bad guys getting obliterated quite as much or as impressively for some time. The heroes empty entire clips (and never run dry) into legions of henchmen that come their way and not one of them gets injured haha. Well Stallone gets hit twice but it seems to have little effect on him. On top of that once again none of the Expendables team gets killed (apart from Hemsworth who's the newbie, so who cares), the team is invincible it seems which for me spoils the film. As I said for the first film, had a couple of them gotten killed off it would make things so much more interesting.

Again the idea is grand but the outcome is so very weak. A loud, bombastic, gun shattering riot of an action flick but in an almost pantomime style of presentation. Yes its fun to a degree but I wanna see hardcore action just like the old days please, not fluff with babyish dialog. 
Jason R

Super Reviewer

August 16, 2012
One of the worst movies I've seen in theaters. No idea why any critic gave this a favorable rating. Maybe it's over my head...

Super Reviewer

November 16, 2012
Terrific, action packed film with so many great action legends. The Expendables 2 is a phenomenal sequel that is pure, adrenaline pumping mindless fun. This film lacks a truly terrific plot, but it more than delivers in its action content, which is always top-notch from start to finish. With hilarious one liner and plenty of brilliant references to each actor's respective films, this film is simply a blast. The film really was a great time, and it may have lacked in plot, but it was too be expected. Many of the action greats have wonderful parts in this sequel to The Expendables and with a very high body count, and countless ammunition cartridges being falling to the floor, director Simon West definitely knows his stuff in creating a fun, engaging and constantly thrilling action picture that is simply meant to enjoy with friends. The film won't win any awards, but it definitely is a fun, time that is sure to deliver a wonderful thrill ride for action film fans. If you love most of these actors, you're sure to enjoy this film. Despite its flaws, it's nonetheless a must see for action fans or anyone looking for the perfect film that delivers mindless thrills and sharp witted humor. The Expendables 2 is one of the most awesome films of the year, and there is never a dull moment on-screen. The high body count, thrilling action and its wide cast of legendary action stars make this film soar over its flaws. If you loved the first Expendables, you're most likely to enjoy this, as it is just as good as the original.
Al S

Super Reviewer

April 11, 2011
One of the greatest action movies ever follows up with one of the greatest action sequels ever, it stands with any Terminator, Rambo or Die Hard film. An instant and explosive classic. A spectacular and adrenaline-pumping action-packed extravaganza from start to finish and just makes you want more. I love this movie. A slam-bang, full-blown and hard-core roller-coaster ride that just dosent let up for a minute. A well-crafted and well-character developed film with great moments and great stunts. The all-star cast have great moments together and shine big-time. It`s head-bashing, mind-blowing, wickedly funny and loaded with unstoppable action. Director, Simon West crafts an over the top, blisteringly cool and red blooded action film and makes a worthy directional replacement for Stallone. The team is back and better than ever. Statham, Lungdren, Crews, Couture, Li and Stallone are still the team to route for and cant help but love. Sylvester Stallone is terrific, he still proves he`s one of the top action heroes of all time, and he`s not alone. It was great to see Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Stallone standing together in all their action glory and fire power stealing the screen together. Chuck Norris had a appearance in a western style way bringing on fun and cool. Dolph Lungdren is a blast. Jason Statham is fantastic. Jean-Claude Van Damme is excellent, a great welcome back to the big screen with his villionus portrayal. Liam Hemsworth is exceptional. This movie is a total and utterly awesome blast. An unforgettably fun and thrilling adventure.

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2012
Back for War.

Good movie! The story pretty much straight forward, better than the first, but nothing special, some dialogue was hard to hear, and sly does try to be serious in some scenes which got a laugh and I don't think its how it was intended but its not that much of a big deal really as there are funny moments in the film, more so than the first film. Fight scenes were better this time round, not too prolonged, timed well, and the one on ones didn't drag on too long. Sly & van damme's fight could have been a bit longer but I guess after all the chaos leading up to that point it was sufficient enough without getting too silly, reminded me of a Rocky fight here and there....he he One liners were good, dolph was great, the girl is good also, be good to see her in exp3, locations and sets fab, CGI was not obvious and edited well. So in the end, The Expendables did exactly what the first film should have done. It's a hilarious parody of the action genre and has non-stop excitement from start to finish. This is finally the film from these guys that I've been waiting for.

The Expendables are reunited when Mr. Church enlists them to take on a seemingly simple job. When things go wrong, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory, where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time - five tons of weapons-grade plutonium, more than enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that's nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary they seek revenge from.
Stuart B

Super Reviewer

October 8, 2012
Easily as good as the first movie and for me, slightly better, simply because it is even more tongue and cheek. Best part of it has to be when Chuck Norris helps the team out.
Eugene B

Super Reviewer

September 19, 2012
Violent, action-packed and cliched to the max. Expendables 2 gathers once more a furious cast along with familiar faces as new additions. The action-film-references and excess of violence actually makes the film an ounce better than its predecessor. 3.5/5

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2012
'The Expendables 2'. Gleeful, unapologetic violence with *the* action ensemble cast and references aplenty! Great weapon sound design also; every shot fired from Terry Crewes' deliciously sounding gun made me happy.

Forget the incredibly convenient plot holes and enjoy the ride. Especially the Arnie and Willis one.

Super Reviewer

September 17, 2012
The Expendables was a surprise hit two years ago. Sylvester Stallone collected an all-star team of aging AARP action stars and they kicked ass, took names, and didn't apologize. It was a fitfully amusing throwback to the burly, macho action movies of the 1980s and the early 90s, a time where many of these men were kings. The nostalgia trip worked box-office magic for Stallone. A sequel was commissioned and these men of action were put back to work. There was already preliminary talk about the possible stars that could sign up for a third Expendables (Nicolas Cage and Clint Eastwood are on a wish list). Maybe people should see The Expendables 2 before getting too excited plotting out the future of this franchise. This is not a good movie even by Stallone's standards.

Barney Ross (Stallone) is back with the best team money can hire. No, not the A-Team, the Expendables. There are also the preposterously named team members Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Ying Yang (Jet Li), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture), and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews). The over-the-hill gang also has some new blood, namely Bill(y) the Kid (The Hunger Games' Liam Hemsworth). The gang runs afoul with Vilain (Jean Claude Van Damme), a terrorist mining for plutonium to sell to the highest bidder. Barney swears to thwart Vilain and calls in help from other living action legends like Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What made the first Expendables enjoyable, at least for sustainable spurts, was its over-the-top nature comingled with a lack of irony. The movie felt often like a satire of the genre but you knew that Stallone was never winking at the camera. Stallone was never in on the joke. That changes with The Expendables 2, which often resorts to self-aware humor to poke fun at itself. This approach simply does not work. There's an entire sequence where Chuck Norris even makes a Chuck Norris Internet joke, merging reality with irony. The bad guys are lousy shots and the good guys are the world's greatest marksmen, but I don't even know if this is intentionally self-aware or just par for the genre. Having Arnold repeat other people's famous one-liners and quips ("Who's next? Rambo?") are not funny. The self-awareness never rises to the level of commentary or intentional satire, like say the underrated Last Action Hero. It's just the same mindless violence but with the slightest of nods, the bare minimum to say, "Hey, we get it." Except the movie feels shackled to this flawed approach and often the action fails to gestate into something larger than old guys shoot guns and make occasional wisecracks. The action sequences are really disappointing here. Little attention is given to geography, short of a climax set amidst an abandoned airport. I kept hoping for more of the gonzo, hyperbolic touches that the first film had in abundance. The best ridiculous moments this go-round are Van Damme roundhouse kicking a knife into a guy's heart, and the piece de résistance, Norris shooting a guy onto an airport security conveyer belt where we then see the body full of lead on the x-ray machine.

Most of the Expendables teammates simply have nothing to do. Granted with a large cast the ratios of screen time are not going to be equal across the board, but I'd expect that Stallone and crew would at least give these people some reason to exist in the plot. Jet Li vanishes after the twenty minute mark and never returns. There's truly no reason that Randy Couture and the great Terry Crews couldn't have been Guy #5 and Guy #6. Lundgren is setup to be a chemistry genius, and then when trapped inside a mine, it looks like he's about to utilize his chemistry knowledge to save the day. Nope. Then why would you even set this ability up if you weren't going to do anything? Even Statham is pretty mitigated and he's the number two guy. If you're going to have a team-oriented action movie, then make use of the team and their unique skills. Part of the joy of these kinds of movies is watching the crew work together, like in The Avengers. With this film, we just get rapid-fire shots of the good guys shooting the bad guys, sometimes separately, sometimes together. It gets boring plenty quick.

The plot is fairly barebones even more an action movie. It's a rote revenge movie where Stallone and the boys are out to get Van Dame after he killed one of their guys (the only expendable Expendable, it seems). The plot never gets much more complicated than that. The gang encounters a group of terrorized villagers who want to rescue their husbands from Van Damme's forced labor. Our bad guy even has a name that is a single letter away from spelling "villain" in case you needed the help. You know how he's one evil man? He wears his sunglasses at all times even underground inside a mine. Of course this may also be a stylistic choice to hide Van Damme's horribly Botoxed face. The Muscles from Brussels is actually the second best actor in the movie (Crews easily remains the best), good enough that I wouldn't mind seeing the older Van Damme in more movies. Sadly his big showdown with Stallone is pretty short, with Van Damme resorting to the same roundhouse kicks before being subdued.

Stallone sat out the director's chair and instead Simon West (The Mechanic ) takes the reins. I suppose this freed up Stallone to... focus more attention on the script? Emoting more? The visuals are fairly muddy and lack the polish of West's other hyperactive action movies like Con Air. The opening assault sequence, where Barney and the Expendables roll through an enemy compound, literally busting through walls, is the visual highpoint for the movie. I credit the filmmakers for sticking with the R-rating and not toning down their violence. It would seem like hypocrisy to have a movie about a bunch of crusty old-timers lamenting how soft the world has gotten and then wuss out to a bloodless PG-13 rating. At least this wrecking crew doesn't hold back when it comes to their specialty: mayhem.

The Expendables 2 should have been more than just Stallone and his peers patting themselves on the back. I'm glad Willis and Schwarzenegger graduated from cameos to supporting roles, but I wish the movie just had something for these men of action to do. There's far too much repetition with its action, which becomes a formless montage of people shooting guns in slightly varying locations. The self-aware humor kills the development of the action and it's simply not funny enough. It's the kind of sad humor of old men trying to still look hip, like they're in on the joke. Hey, they can make fun of themselves too. It's just not a fun movie. There are only so many tried wisecracks you can endure, only so much redundant action, plotless excess, and crowbarred cameos. The Expendables 2 takes the little merits of the first film and completely loses touch, all to try and make a joke. In the end, the real joke is still on Stallone and the filmmakers. They wanted to make a movie that knew it was stupid. Instead they just made a stupid movie.

Nate's Grade: C-
Drake T

Super Reviewer

September 4, 2012
A bunch of big dumb old action heroes making a big dumb action movie.

It knows what it is... if anything, I wish the action was better! More creative set pieces and all that. Instead of the whole... straight up point-and-shoot or military-style-hand-to-hand combat from one group of fodder to another.

About halfway through I just got incredibly numb to it all. The guns and explosions. Bad one liners. Self deprecating old guys.

Ugh, snore.
Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

September 4, 2012
One of the best action films to come out. Plenty of guns, explosions and one liners. Packing some of the greatest action names like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis. But this time, the legendary Chuck Norris enters the battlefield. A must watch for action fans and those looking for some classic 1980's style action.
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