The Expendables 2
Let’s cut to the chase: The Expendables 2 is a hilarious action movie that gathers just about all action heroes from the 80s and early 90s for one big festival of muscles, over-the-top shootouts, and occasional duels that have sparks going in all directions. For the story, however, you again don’t need to watch this one.
Barney Ross (Stallone) and his bunch of expendables are sent to Asia by Mr. Church (Willis) after a succesful extraction to crack a safe in a crashed plane. It seems like a simple job but once they get the content of the safe, the newest member of the crew, Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) gets captured and killed by Vilain (Van Damme), leader of a criminal organisation called The Sangs, who are out to get five ton of plutonium that’s up for grabs in a deserted mine.
That the mission failed is one thing, but having one of his crew murdered is a whole different thing. Barney takes it all very personal and tracks down Vilain to get revenge.
Don’t ask too many questions about the story, and don’t expect much depth in the dialogues. You won’t get more than a ton of one-liners and each time the action stops, the movie almost completely falls apart. Luckily these moments are scarse and for the rest things speed up very nicely. As such, The Expendables 2 is a much better action flick than the first one. The action is a bit heavier and the heroes we didn’t see passing by in Expendables 1 (Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme) are now present while old faithfuls like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis get more screentime.
It’s all quite ridiculous and not to be taken seriously, but Expendables 2 does deliver what is expected. The opening scene is simply hilarious, the many one-liners often hit the spot right on, and again each character gets the necessary piece of action. If you don’t mind the lack of depth The Expendables 2 is a must-have!
We’re a bit less positive about the image and sound. The latter is quite alright with good placing of effects and use of all channels, but the image is a bit too dark for our taste and misses some detail while the movie as a whole also looks a bit soft. This cannot be blamed entirely on the transfer as this was a choice from the makers. The blu-ray apparently is a bit better, but not a lot. As such we can say The Expendables 2 will never become demo-material to show off your TV’s image quality.
In the extras department we find an audio commentary track with Simon West, 20 minutes on the cast of action heroes and where they come from, a 25 minute feature on the movies and action heroes from the 80s, a piece about real mercenaries, and 14 minutes on the weapons that pass by in the movie. Next to that also some deleted scenes and bloopers are present.