Film Review: The Expendables 2 (2012)

I am a fan of the first Expendables film. I thought it was not only an enjoyable film for fans of 80s action films, but also a well-made, and entertaining action film in it’s own right. The Expendables 2 I found to be quite enjoyable as well, even though, to me, it clearly cranked things up a notch in almost every department. This can be good or bad depending on your personal taste. For me, it was a buffet of awesome campy fun, to go along with cheesey humour, and with a lot of winks and nods to long time fans of the genre and the action legends within it.

The opening sequence starts thing off very strongly. The crew go into a rescue mission and end up finding more than they bargained for. I wont spoil who else they end up finding on this mission, but I don’t think I was the only one in the theater to get a good grin out of it.

Bruce Willis shows up and tells Sly he still owes him from screwing him over in the last film.  I don’t care about the character’s names, and will instead use the actors names, just because it’s more fun that way for this review. Sly agrees to make things up and honor his promise to Bruce, so agress to go on this mission assigned to him.

They try to build up Sly’s friendship with the youngest member of the crew and it did seem  very forced and rushed, but I suppose there just wasn’t enough screen time to make the viewer believe in this friendship – it is after all supposed to be a full blown action film, not a dramatic opera. Anyway, the young man gets killed by some bad guys they run into on their mission, and Sly and the gang are royally pissed with only three things on their minds: Hunt them. Catch them. Kill them! And then the real fun starts.

The cast is even bigger, better and badder than in the first film. The additions of Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme, along with much more screen time for Arnold, really added to the fun of this thing. There are a lot of in-jokes and tongue-in-cheek humour – much more than what I can remember from the first flick. Chuck Norris in particular provided some fun moments and he even tells a Chuck Norris joke, resulting in laughter throughout the less than packed theater (I was surprised it wasn’t at least nearly sold out on opening night). Van Damme needs to be given a lot of credit here. He played his role as main Bad Guy to perfection and you really wanted to see his face get bashed in. Arnold’s one-liners were also a hoot.

All fun and jokey moments aside, this flick also had some serious production values and well executed action set pieces. A couple of moments really stuck out in my mind that I thought were awesomely shot, well made scenes. One involves Jason Statham dressed up as a Priest and kicking the bad guys asses in a church. This scene was probably the best fight choreography in the entire film. The other that really sticks out is the final battle between Sly and JCVD. It reminded me a bit of the final battle in one of my all-time favorite action flicks from the 80’s COBRA.

The Expendables 2 was fun. It fits perfectly what I envision a summer action flick to be; with awesome fights, massive explosions, and cheesy one-liners. This is not the usual Horror Booth fare, but I wanted to share what I thought of this. I recommend it.


J.P. Thorn


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10 Responses to Film Review: The Expendables 2 (2012)

  1. Maybe we can get to go see this next weekend! JCVD was probably my favorite growing up, I’m excited for this one.

  2. theipc says:

    I love most of these guys (especially Stallone) but the wife and I didn’t really care for the first one. I KNOW I’ll be catching the sequel when it comes to TV and have high hopes from positive reviews by real people like you and me. On another note, I just watched the trailer for Arnold’s “The Last Stand”. After it was over the wife turned to me with a grimace and I gave her the thumbs up and told her I’d be seeing that in the theater. : )

    • jpthorn says:

      I have yet to watch that trailer but I am very glad that Arnie is back in the game. 🙂

    • jpthorn says:

      Just saw the trailer for THE LAST STAND. Color me excited. Looks like it will be a blast.

    • Steve Vernon says:

      I would reconsider waiting. THE EXPENDABLES 2 is a LOT better than the first film – and you’d DEFINITELY be doing yourself a favor seeing this on a theater screen. That said, I can’t wait to own the dvd – because I wanted to see it again just as soon as it was over. The movie went down like a cold glass of beer on a hot summer day – following a fistful of salted peanuts. It just called for another.

      I’ll agree with you on that trailer. THE LAST STAND looks like it’s going to be great! I want to step into a time machine and catch it – right now!

      I am so grateful that Stallone managed to blaze the trail with ROCKY BALBOA and THE EXPENDABLES for old-time actors to come out of “retirement” for one more kick at the can. I’d love to see me some more 70’s-style action movies in the coming years ahead. I am sick to death of the glib pastiches that we’ve had to make do with up until these last couple of years. Bring back the action flick!

  3. Steve Vernon says:

    My big birthday gift this year was for my wife to take me to EXPENDABLES 2 – and it really rocked! A lot better than the first movie. I think it was a great move for Stallone to step out of the director’s chair and let someone else take over.

  4. merrill says:

    First of all I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Kudos!

    • jpthorn says:

      Hi, thank you for your interest and feedback. I’m far from being any kind of seasoned or professional writer. I just write off the cuff on what interests me. If I’m stuck, for me it just means I really am not into what I’m writing about. Generally I don’t force anything and just type out exactly what’s in my head.

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