The Expendables 2 review

Director:
Simon West
Cast:
Sylvester Stallone
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Bruce Willis
Chuck Norris
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jason Statham
Rated: R

More action stars, but somehow less enjoyment.

“The Expendables 2” is the sequel to the 2010 action film which featured some of the biggest action stars ever. This film doubles down on that concept by expanding on roles from the previous film and adding new action stars into the mix. The film continues the story of Barney Ross (Stallone), leader of the mercenary group ‘The Expendables.’ One day he is approached to do another job for a returning character, Mr. Church (Willis).

This time the job is to retrieve a major piece of technology for the Government. The stakes are raised for the group when the rookie of their team is killed by a criminal organization led by the character who is very appropriately titled Villain played by Jean-Claude Van Damme.

While I gave the first “Expendables” film very high praise, I can’t bring myself to do the same with the sequel. I think it was really a case of the first being lightning in a bottle, doing something that hasn’t really been seen before. This one turns out to be just more of the same and turned out to be actually a bit boring.

I enjoyed seeing the actors like Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris all fighting side by side. However, by the point that happens, it almost feels too little, too late. It almost seemed better in the first film when Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis just had that cameo conversation; it shows that less is more.

The interactions between the characters seemed a bit more forced here and not as fun as before. Once again it just seemed like they were trying to recreate what the first one had.

The action is well done, in fact there are some amazing battles here, and yet once again I didn’t get as much out of them as the first one. In the original film the final battle was amazing and really blew me away, there was nothing like that here.

I wanted to enjoy “The Expendables 2,” I really did since I loved the first one. However, everything just felt like they wanted to recreate the first film instead of actually making a solid sequel. There are plenty of cool action moments but they feel too far and in-between. “The Expendables 2” comes in at a disappointing 2 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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