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The Expendables 2 (2012) Movie Review

August 18, 2012

“The Expendables” was a solid action film that was designed as a throw-back to the 80s style action movies.  It avoided creating a complex plot in favor of one that gave good reason for a group made up of wrestlers and actors known for action films to wreak havoc and kill a bunch of bad guys with big guns and explosions.  In order to take the idea one step further, “The Expendables 2” brings back more big-name action stars, this time giving lengthy action cameos to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, and Bruce Willis.  Jean-Claude Van Damme plays the role of the villain, giving the film the final 80s touch.

There is a lot to love here for fans of the original.  The plot is pretty straightforward but provides enough fuel to set up some great action.  Action scenes are nicely mixed with silly one-liners that will leave audiences laughing frequently.  The film spends more time letting us get to know the cast and some of their individual quirks.

The action is driven along nicely by a powerful thematic score from Brian Tyler.  Tyler does a nice job using the theme from the original film in a variety of different styles.  The music is bombastic and largely orchestral in a fitting ode to the older actors who play the main role.  The film uses a number of classic songs as well that all fit nicely with the material.

If you enjoyed the first film, “The Expendables 2” provides enough explosion-driven spectacle to make it worth seeing in theaters.  The film perfectly blends action and comedy, giving audiences a crowd-pleasing guilty-pleasure.  The major cameos, especially the fun with Chuck Norris, are as awesome as you might expect and help the film stand out from the rest.  80s action is back with a vengeance and accomplishes its mission.


Note: Astute readers may notice I am scoring this lower than I did the first film back in 2010 even though I thought this one was slightly better.  This is because my scoring has gotten stricter lately.

Note 2: I went to see “The Expendables 2” in RPX (Regal Cinemas Premium Experience) because the time was more convenient.  In essence this gives you much nicer seats (with head-rests) and the clarity of sound similar to the speakers used in IMAX theaters.  It was a nice touch but I probably won’t spend the extra $4 per ticket again for RPX if I can help it.


From → Action

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