The Expendables 2 (2012) Review: The Old Men Cometh

The Expendables 2Yell! Magazine review:

When The Expendables hit theaters in 2010, word on the street was that it was gonna be 16 different shades of awesome. Stallone writing and directing an ensemble action flick that showcases the best of the best? You’d have to be some kind of deficient to mess up a recipe like that.

And then it came and went, and was a little on the underwhelming side. Played too straight, too much Stallone and Statham, and muddled action scenes directed with the finesse of a gaggle of sock-puppets. It was hokey and hammy, and somehow it wasn’t over-the-top enough. The whole thing just wound up being a crying shame.

Rourke Sly Tattoo The Expendables

Afterward, The Expendables 2 was announced, and everybody’s thinking, “Oh, I see you’re milking the smooth udders of this cash cow so daddy Warbucks can buy himself a Stetson hat and a dump truck full of concubines. I thought this was a failed nostalgic one-shot, not a flaccid franchise showcasing old men shootin’ guns.”

At least, that’s what I said.

Pretentiously lowered expectations at the ready, I stepped into The Expendables 2 expecting more of the same. More of the same quick-cut, obscured hand-to-hand combat. More of the same lame one-liners and more of the same lack of camaraderie and buddy-buddy back-and-forth between the background members themselves.

And by Xenu, I was blown away. Blown to bits, really. Dragged under some tires and thrown into a ravine, only to be eaten by rabid badgers. I felt like I had been through some kind of religious experience.

It’s actually good. It’s actually everything it’s supposed to be. Action packed, intentionally funny, unintentionally funny, suspenseful, properly executed – it delivers on every level it promises to.

Schwarzenegger’s promoted to a role that extends beyond mere cameo. Bruce Willis receives the same treatment. Chuck Norris is a living, breathing in-universe Chuck Norris joke, and every member of the team gets the benefit of being fleshed out more.

The Expendables 2 - Chuck Norris
He even makes a Chuck Norris joke.

Granted, that isn’t to say that they’re given any sort of depth, I mean, we’re not watching Lorenzo’s Oil here. Still, every member is given a 50% trait boost, and they evolve from being sentient background noise to quipping stereotypes that manage to be funny on a lot of different levels.

The Expendables 2
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
17 August 2012
Simon West
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Yu Nan, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Action, Adventure/dd>

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