The Expendables 2 (2012)

expendables 2 poster 2012 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Explosive action with all your favorite action stars, better than the first

Still room for improvement

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Expendables 2

Studio:  Nu Image

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  August 17, 2012

MPAA Rating:  R


If this was 1989, this would be unbelievable!!!

The Expendables are back!  After a mission to rescue a scientist (and as it turns out rival mercenary Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger)), the Expendables find themselves forced to pay back Church (Bruce Willis) by retrieving an item from a plane crash in enemy territory.  After the mission goes sour, and the Expendables’ youngest member Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) is killed, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) vows to get revenge on Billy’s killer Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme).  With the help of an expert named Maggie Chan (Yu Nan), the Expendables learn that Jean is after plutonium and stopping Jean might be more important than revenge.

Directed by Simon West, The Expendables 2 is the follow-up to the 2010 hit action movie.  The film was better received than the earlier entry.  The movie did also stir some controversy when the film crew was accused of killing a large percent of the bat population in a cave where the film was shot along with other damage.


Call me Jean…Jean Vilain

I wanted to like The Expendables simply because it was something that sprung from the mind of a child.  Every action hero that you liked growing up in the film landed in The Expendables…here, you get the addition of both Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris.  Plus, the filmmakers realized you had to have a sense of humor.

The story of The Expendables 2 is almost incidental.  You don’t really go into the movie expecting much of a plot, and The Expendables 2 doesn’t really provide much of a memorable one.  Loaded with clichés (liked the damned Hemsworth who wants out and has a girlfriend back home), the script doesn’t quite play with the generic formula enough, but it does improve upon the tone.  The whole plutonium thing all seems very generic and mostly just provides a reason to inspire gunfights and battles…and that is ok.


I work…alone…

The movie is infused with much more humor that the first film which took itself too seriously.  You can’t really believe all these tough guys hanging around without it being funny.  Most of the actors involved became famous for one-liners which peppered their action films and made the ridiculous seem a bit more real…by being ridiculous.

The movie also was able to expand the roles of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis who simply cameoed in the first Expendables.  The big blowout at the end of the film was what the first film needed.  I also love the addition of Chuck Norris as the “lone wolf” who just shows up when needed…along with accompanying music.

The Expendables 2 shows some hope for the franchise.  The movie was an improvement and it is possible that the Expendables could go the route of The Fast and the Furious which actually improved over the sequels.  The movie isn’t perfect, but it is better than the original.  The Expendables 3 is scheduled for release in 2014.

Related Links:

The Expendables (2010)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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