The Expendables 2 (2012) Review

Director: Simon West

Genre(s): Action

Runtime: 103 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

IMDb Page

Only two years after The Expendables (2010), another proudly lunkheaded entry into the series was unleashed in theaters. This time, our team of heroic mercenaries must prevent a cache of weapons-grade plutonium from falling into the hands of a rival group of soldiers-of-fortune. Your enjoyment of this film hinges on whether you liked the first one or not.

The Expendables 2 wrings out every possible opportunity for crazed action. The opening sequence alone probably has more death and destruction than most actioners do in their entire runtime. With the exception of the fake-looking, computer-generated blood (which is still present), many of the problems with the action scenes in the first movie are wrinkled out here. If I had to find one problem with the picture on the action front (other than the unrealistic blood), it would be that it does a questionable job building up to a climax, with the grand finale almost coming out of nowhere.

The miraculous cast from the 2010 original is expanded on here, now including the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme, who plays the bad guy, the appropriately-named Vilain. He seems to be having a fun time. The two actors (who I won’t spoil here) who only had somewhat brief cameos in the first one are given a chance to pick up a firearm and join in on the carnage. The tone in The Expendables 2 is a bit lighter and jokier than the first installment. It may be a bit too self-aware/meta for some viewers, though.

In my opinion, this picture manages to top The Expendables. It has a bigger cast and easier-to-follow action set-pieces, which more than makes up for a segment or two where the combat dries up. This one is strictly for action junkies only. There’s simply not enough comedy, drama, suspense, romance, or scares for anybody who doesn’t just want a pumped-up explosionfest with a colossal body count. However, if that sounds like something you might be interested in, The Expendables 2 delivers the goods and then some.

My rating is 9 outta 10.

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