The Expendables 2 movie review


My Score: 80

The Expendables 2 is exactly what it looks like:  action shlock. Fortunately, everyone involved with the film was well aware of this, so it’s a fun watch.At 103 minutes, The Expendables 2 thunders along at an almost manic pace.  The movie goes by so fast, I often found myself wondering, “How many cigars does Sylvester Stallone’s character carry around?  Or is his cigar like the Willy Wonka Ever-Lasting-Gobstopper of cigars?  He can’t possibly be smoking the same cigar from yesterday…”  There was a moment in the middle of the film during which he ran of bullets, and I couldn’t help but think, “Must have taken up all the ammo space with cigars.”

It’s no wonder that they run out of bullets – these guys kill almost everyone they see.  Oh right… who do I mean by ‘guys?’  Let’s take a look at the passenger manifest for this little journey into mayhem:

Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Yu Nan, who is also famous… she was in Speed Racer and Diamond Dogs… you know… those movies.  Oh right, that’s Liam Hemsworth – not to be confused with Chris Hemsworth.  You know, this guy.  Liam was in  The Last Song with Miley Cyrus and lost out on Thor to his brother but The Hunger Games will probably give his career a serious shot int he arm.  So yeah… a little star power in this movie.

Anyway, all you need to know is that in this movie, the good guys (who are mercenaries) shoot the bad guys (who want to do… something bad with plutonium) and everyone is happy.  Seriously, that’s pretty much it.  These movies aren’t about character development, so don’t expect to get to know anyone, but the movie does do a decent job of developing the plot so you care what happens throughout the course of the story, even if you don’t necessarily love the characters.   You care about what they’re doing, so by osmosis, you sort of care about them.  Sure, there are a lot of dudes over sixty hanging around for a serious action flick, but it all works in a non Rocky Balboa sort of way.  Just about everything in this movie works – well, maybe Yu Nan doesn’t work, including the weird misdirection surrounding her character.  (Sorry if I spoiled the movie for you, but it doesn’t go anywhere.  The question is, “Can we trust her?” and the answer is, “Yes.  We can trust her.  Sure, we shouldn’t trust strangers, but she never gave us any reason to not trust her…  can’t we take it at face value until we have to do otherwise?  Seems like a lot of wasted energy…)

If you’re looking for a good, violent time at the movies, I’d check out The Expendables 2.  It’s not a perfect movie by any means, but it’s well made enough that you don’t have to check your brain at the door – the movie does that for you in the very first scene.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on September 11, 2012, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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