Review – The Expendables 2

Welcome to ‘The Expendables 2’ aka the Sylvester Stallone Home for Action Heroes. All residents are welcome to steady work despite their career standings and you can help yourself to all the one-liners you like.

Barney Ross (Stallone) and his team of mercenaries are back to prevent nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands.

‘The Expendables 2’ opens with a bombastic sequence that’s everything expected from a film that assembles the AAA-Team from the last 30 years of bicep driven action films. Personally, I love a car/motorcycle/electric wheelchair being flung into a helicopter and the fireball that follows. The union between motorcycle and helicopter happens within the first 10 minutes of the film (big grin), but once the dust settles from the steroid fueled opener the rest of the film suffers from bad side effects.

For all the excess of ‘The Expendables 2’ it’s really unimpressive. Explosions alone cannot carry an entire film. The bulked up heroes have no chemistry, Dolph Lundgren is milked badly for laughs and the dialogue is woeful – when someone is fatally injured the first thing they say is “I’M DYING!” Thanks for the update.

There are a few moments where it’s cool seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis fighting side-by-side but the big problem with ‘Expendables 2’ is how self-aware it is. Director Simon West keeps tries to have fun with the legendary action hero status of the main players, but there are so many winks at the audiences that you expect someone’s eyelids to explode off their face. Despite the self-referential failings, there is one outstanding cameo that’s worth wading through the muck for.

Choppy editing, shoddy overuse of CGI blood and footage that looks like it was shot through the membrane of a testicle make matters worse and the dream team officially becomes a nightmare force.

‘The Expendables 2’ pitches itself as the ultimate indulgence in action but it’s only firing blanks.


Cameron Williams
The Popcorn Junkie

‘The Expendables 2’ is released:

14 August 2012 US

16 August 2012 UK

30 August 2012 Australia