The Expendables 2 Review

When Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis were announced as official cast members of the Expendables 2, I knew that I was in for more action, more explosions, and more banter. Did I get what I expected? Kind of.

The three key points to this movie are acting, plot, and action. The acting is pretty corny. But you know what? When you are eating meat, is corn a bad thing? Is the corn, whether on a cob or in a bowl, something that takes away from the meat? No. Whether you enjoy the corn or not, the meat is still there. You could enjoy the meat despite the corn. Do you enjoy the corn? Yes? Good. No? You’ll still like the meat. Most of the acting in this movie is pretty corny. Not exactly bad, but it might make you shake your head a bit. Still, you still enjoy your favorites of the group, despite the corny acting. The comedy of this movie was right on. Essentially, these actors are playing themselves, and that’s why this movie is hilarious. They all make fun of each other, and the movie doesn’t take itself so seriously. That was a flaw of the first: It acted like people would take it seriously. This movie, however, nailed its tone. It was dark when it needed to be, but it was overall lighthearted and funny. Believe it or not, the person who delivered the best performance was Liam Hemsworth. His character was the most complex of all of the group, and he gave the plot structure. This brings me to talk about the plot.

This movie doesn’t have the most complicated plot. Stallone owes Willis, and so he has to venture off with his team to stop the bad guy. Simple. But, what adds depth to this movie is Hemsworth’s character. I cannot go into too much detail, as I am always spoiler free, but his character was solid, and I liked the purpose he served and his personality as a whole. The plot has more structure than the first, and it is cool to see the movie come together, even though it is full of stars. This movie was less of a gimmick and more of an actual film, even though it was full of homage to the actors and nostalgia. This is where the movie surprised me. It actually had a plot.

The action, of course, was bloody, brutal, and violent. Nearly every character had their moment in the spotlight, which will keep all viewers happy. Jet Li, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, each of them and the rest of the crew have their scene or moment. There are breaks between action, but for the most part, this movie is a slaughter of regenerating bad guys, conducted by our favorite action stars.

Over all, was this movie enjoyable? Yes. The Expendables 2 knew its tone, and it stuck with it. It is definitely a step up from the first movie, with more structure and plot. Everybody got their share of badassery, and so this movie did its job: It delivered a nostalgic, action packed movie that provides a fun time at the theater. The Expendables 2 is a T-Bone. Whether you liked the first or not, this is a good action movie with plenty of laughs and a lot of fun to be had.

Nicolas Cage is officially on board for the third Expendables. Who do YOU want to see in the Expendables 3? Tell me in the comments. And, if you like to think up unbelievable rosters, check out this post I did a while back on my ideal Celebrity Apprentice cast. It’s a fun post.

~Ddog

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5 comments on “The Expendables 2 Review

  1. It’s surprising to me that Hemsworth was the highlight of the cast. Not that I don’t think he’s a talented actor, but I wouldn’t have pegged him to be the standout among everyone else. That’s good to hear though! I saw the first one and surprisingly enjoyed it even though it really wasn’t a good (well written) movie. I think I’ll see this one eventually…mainly because I miss having Jean Claude van Damme in my life. We need more female action stars though. I’d love to see JeeJa Yanin in there. She’s incredible.

    • Chuck Norris was a hilarious character and everyone else was enjoyable to watch, but I REALLY liked Liam’s character. I was surprised that he fit in with the movie. His character is very different from the rest of the gang, so he was fresh to the movie, and it made it feel more authentic rather than nostalgia-based. And we got one female in the film: Nan Yu. She kicks a small amount of ass, but her character kept the movie, once again, from feeling nostalgia driven.

  2. I seem to be the only person who doesn’t think that this movie is an improvement over the first Expendables. I guess from my point of view the writing was just so distractingly bad at times that it felt like the people behind it weren’t putting that much effort behind it. I can take an un-subtle Chuck Norris joke thrown in here and there but having half of Arnold’s lines in the entire movie involve some variation of “I’ll be back” was a bit much for me.

    Anyways, I do agree that Hemsworth was surprisingly good here and I look forward to seeing him do what he can to catch up with his brother as an actor. Just curious though, you mentioned the movie having more of a plot than the first but I didn’t really notice that, what part would you say sets Expendables 2 apart in that department?

    Good review in any case and my pics for Expendables 3 (which is under scrutiny because 2 is on track to not even make its budget back in the box office) would be Kurt Russel, Mr. T, Carl Wethers, and maybe John Cena as a Bad guy’s Henchman

  3. The writing was pretty corny, and the line delivery was, at times, bad. The script wasn’t golden by any means. Arnold didn’t contribute to this movie as he did in the first, but the plot felt deeper to me because of one reason: Hemsworth. His character serves as a motivation for the rest of the team. His loyal soldier type attitude absorbed me, and so when he met his fate, it serves as a motivation for Barney’s team, rather than the mission being done just because Church says it has to be. There seemed to be more buildup and more things happening than just pure destruction at all times.
    As to your choices, I can see Mr. T and John Cena in there for sure. I was never a fan of Cena, but you never know. They have Couture, but they may want a guy who doesn’t fight for real.

  4. Pingback: Movie Review: The Expendables 2 « Funk's House of Geekery

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