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190 out of 280 people found the following review useful:

Exactly what I wanted from the first film - The Avengers of action movies.

8/10
Author: Matt_Layden from Canada
13 August 2012

While on a mission one of the "Expendables" gets himself killed, this leads the crew to go on a mission of revenge. But is it too much to handle?

I was severely disappointed in the first Expendable film, the mediocre action, the use of CGI blood and the unimpressive villain ruined the experience. So I was hoping that the second time around they would correct these issues. I can safely say, they did and they did it in spades. The big change is Stallone is no longer behind the camera, so he is more focused on his role of Barney and his mind isn't split between two separate places. The biggest change though is the tone, The Expendables 2 does not take itself seriously at all and neither did I, so I had a blast watching what is ultimately a parody of the action genre.

I can look past the acting, lack of story and plot because the film doesn't try to give you one. It's a simple film with a simple purpose. Get as many of these big guys into one film, make it a guys flick with lots of action and killing and they succeeded. The biggest misstep this film has is the motivation behind the revenge. The wrong person dies. A character is killed off that we have almost zero emotional connection with, it would have made more sense if it were another character that disappears early on in the film. It seems this character's sole purpose was to have these characters get their revenge on, which makes it less engaging for the viewer.

I was surprised at how underwhelmed I was by the action in the first film, here it is more stylized and fun. The film steps on the gas from the very beginning and almost never lets up. We are thrown into this action sequence at the start, which is better than anything the original had to offer. A more competent action director is behind the lens this time, Simon West who gave us Con Air and the more recent Mechanic. He understands what is needed and delivers some wild action sequences.

As I mentioned before, the film does not take itself seriously and it has a very tongue and cheek demeanour about it. It's not afraid to wink at the camera, specifically when Chuck Norris enters the screen and steals the show with the funniest line in the entire film. The film is full of one liners you would expect from an action film. During a fight, one characters exclaims, "Let's wrap this up" he then proceeds to take a chain and wrap it around another character's neck to choke him out. Another scene we have a bad guy get shot a dozen times by everyone and Stallone retorts, "Rest in pieces". Finally, my favourite, Stallone says "heads up" then proceeds to throw a head to some people. Yes, this movie is violent, so no fear about the PG-13 rating.

So what about the guys? Well, they all come back, some have a lot more to do than others. Lundgren is basically the comedic relief. Crews and Courture again get short shifted and feel like background characters. Schwarzenegger, Willis and Norris all have more in depth cameos and finally Van Damme shines as the villain. Van Damme really deserved more screen time. We are introduced to him, then we cut back every so often as he tries to steal his plutonium, then we have him fight at the end. He deserved more screen time, so did his right hand man, Scott Adkins. Both are more martial arts type fighters than big gun shooters and since this is a Stallone film, this is a big gun shooting movie. They get their fight sequences, but both of them I thought could have been a bit longer. Especially the Van Damme/Stallone fight.

So in the end, The Expendables did exactly what the first film should have done. It's a hilarious parody of the action genre and has non-stop excitement from start to finish. This is finally the film from these guys that I've been waiting for.

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200 out of 302 people found the following review useful:

Better than the first by a mile

Author: tonystalloney from United Kingdom
6 August 2012

First off, yes, much better than the first.... thank god, more locations, funnier and better put together.

No time from opening credits, its straight into the action, which is more epic imo, and is what should have been seen in the first film but maybe due to a low budget we were subjected to a lesser affair The team work well, all of them and Hemsworth does really well as the new boy on the block and second time round and you kind of know these guys. Arnie, bruce are seen more but are not seen as much as the usual gang, and li is seen the least.

Norris is great, seen here and there, great entrance and more of a cameo, and van damme makes good his role as the villain.

The story pretty much straight forward, better than the first, but nothing special, some dialogue was hard to hear, and sly does try to be serious in some scenes which got a laugh and I don't think its how it was intended but its not that much of a big deal really as there are funny moments in the film, more so than the first film.

Fight scenes were better this time round, not too prolonged, timed well, and the one on ones didn't drag on too long. Sly & van damme's fight could have been a bit longer but I guess after all the chaos leading up to that point it was sufficient enough without getting too silly, reminded me of a Rocky fight here and there....he he One liners were good, dolph was great, the girl is good also, be good to see her in exp3, locations and sets fab, cgi was not obvious and edited well.

One thing I will say is sly does have issues coming across as funny and I don't know why. He's funny in real life and was funny in rocky but its hit and miss and it shows here in some scenes.

Its not 10/10 in my book. Maybe when i see it again it may be better in my mind, but like i say a better story would of helped If there is a 3rd, I would like to see more of a story if that is at all possible, see what you think guys when its out, but it's a big improvement on the first and that's a good sign

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165 out of 253 people found the following review useful:

Great to see they're still here!

9/10
Author: caseyx from Netherlands
12 August 2012

I saw The Expendables II this morning at a pré screening. What can I tell you about this movie. Firstly, it's really action packed. You're blasted off in the first few minutes leading up to the actual story. Obviously, this is not a film with a great script or impressive acting.However, the story works well for what it's supposed to do! It is greatly entertaining if you are looking for an action packed movie loaded with iconic action stars like Stallone,Willis and many more. The addition of Chuck Norris and van Damme to the cast worked out well. It's really good to see Chuck Norris in action again and he really pulls it off! I expect that the people who will like this movie most will be the fans of the old guard like Stallone, Schwwarzennegger and Norris and the other cast members. Someone I really liked was Liam Hemsworth who did a great job and stood his own between these action giants! Nan Yu as Maggie was also a good casting choice an did what she was supposed to do.

Aside from the "overdrive" action the film also had a lot of humor, which gave some counterweight to the action.

I hope, but quite frankly expect this will do really well in cinema's globally. As a long time Sylvester Stallone fan I can only hope that he (and his family) will find the strenght to overcome the loss of his son.

To the people who are going to see this extravanganza, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

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156 out of 244 people found the following review useful:

ATTENTION, can somebody please claim the body of the pg-13 action movie, its dead, thank you.

10/10
Author: janus-20 from United Kingdom
18 August 2012

What we have here is an almost contemptuous lack of respect for property and human life. But, when that human life is vile, murderous, plutonium pilfering dirtballs, then its time chop, break, snap, blast, liquify, incinerate and decapitate (repeat).

There's very little point in going into a great deal of explanation of what makes this so worth a trip down to your local cinema. Suffice to say Sylvester Stallone has once again saved action movies and put the meat back on the bone.

Here he is aided and abetted by messrs Schwarzenegger, Willis, Norris, Van Damme, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Crews, Couture, who all dive into the proceedings with an enthusiastic amount of esprit de corps, taking the carnage to a hitherto undiscovered level.

This is an action movie with both feet planted firmly in the 80's and there nothing wrong with that one iota. The guys banter, crack jokes, shoot and cause things to blow up, the bad guys are hissable, murderous wretches to a man and are blown up.

Everybody is clearly having a blast, so in translation, so do you, of particular note, Jean Claude Van Damme provides a standout performance as sneery and arrogant Jean Villain.

If you like proper action movies i would be bewildered if you didn't enjoy this. Sly, you did it again, you are without a shadow of doubt "the man".

If they can deliver Eastwood, Ford, Cage, Snipes, Russell, Biehn, Weathers and T for the next one, then my money is already spent.

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111 out of 169 people found the following review useful:

Pure garbage

3/10
Author: tzrjustbrowsing
23 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have no idea why so many people like this movie, maybe I have high standards, but i have to say, all the characters in this movie just don't mix. You can't have all the characters the MAIN character and the story is just pure garbage.

The only bit I liked in this movies was the part where Chuck Norris flashes into the scene, other than that it's just a bundle of shooting and screaming and nothing else really.

The whole story didn't even have a feeling that something was happening. The plutonium was considered a piece of candy that was stolen and everyone was focused on being a 'badass'.

If all mercenaries would be crying babies like this guys, how will they ever survive a seeing a small puppy on the side of the road? In my opinion it's just pathetic.

At least the first movie had a topic, people were talking in their native language, here everyone knows English, no matter where they are from.

Truly I give up, since most of this actors are some of my favorite, but repeating old movie lines (I back, I'm coming back, You came back enough), just makes them look like clowns.

One good thing about this movie is that they did get the character of Jean-Claude Van Damme right. He is a true psycho, but they just found out this right now.

Other than this, the movies deserve a 3 star rating, and this is generous considering that the director of the movie just bashed all the characters head on raw concrete with his amazingly stupid script.

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69 out of 93 people found the following review useful:

What is this? I don't even...

2/10
Author: troymartin93
2 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't care if I'm the minority here but seriously if anyone has ever seen a decent movie before then they would realize how ridiculous this film is. So much talent can be had from this cast as most of us have seen over the years. If the dialogue from this movie wasn't enough to deter me from liking it then it was the multiple references to previous action films starring the individual cast that did it. The addition of Liam Hemsworth playing billy the kid was a strong move considering his part was by far the most interesting and well portrayed. Better kill off the greatest part in the film (it was pretty evident and cliché that Billy was going to die due to the fact that in every film where someone is about to leave or better themselves in some way leads to their death). Another thing that really bothered me about this film was the fact that Jason Statham's "honey" bothering him throughout the film had literally no relevance, yet they led the audience to believe it would.

The editing in this film was tragic... Ever since Stallone has been making a "come back" with action films, the animated blood that is featured is some of the most unrealistic i've seen. When I first witnessed this odd looking blood was in the most recent "Rambo". I thought then that it was interesting looking but eventually due to the excessive amount of it being used i grew tired. There is a scene in The Expendables 2 where they have cleared out a small church filled with Van Damme's cronies and only one enemy is left. They proceed to light this man up, (which i found comical) but once again the terrible editing in this scene ruined it. You can clearly see his entire torso covered in poorly edited bullet holes that don't even move with the mans body.

With a cast and crew like this, I'd think they'd be able to fund for some fantastic special effects. Thanks for the disappointment though.

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77 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

Quote from Billy Madison " We are all dumber for having heard it!"

1/10
Author: scottedunlap from Las Vegas
26 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first thing that strikes me about this movie is, why does it look SO bad? Is it the feel or style they are going for? I dunno, it just looks bad. Maybe they are trying to Vaseline screen the aging stars, who are all in great shape by the way, or are they saving on film? Do they even use film anymore? SPOILER ALERT Virtually every action scene here is over the top and totally unbelievable except for a short scene with Jet Li. The initial escape scene makes NO SENSE! Sly gets shot while going down a seemingly infinite zip line? Statham's got his back so he stays behind while they are surround and the rest of the team continues the escape on the water high speed style. Out of nowhere Sly and Jason are rescued by fledgling team member snipers them out of the situation. Sly grunts "Time for plan b" back to the water chase. Jet skis, for no apparent reason appear from nowhere and the team abandons the boat. Just when all is lost, Stallone and Statham zoom overhead in the plane they arrived in. How is this plan b? Wouldn't the boats and jet ski's be plan b. Jet skis shoot into the ramp of the plane as the plane struggles get get enough lift to take off before they crash into a huge damn. Hey, since we are having trouble gaining altitude, let's head for the HIGHEST POINT on the dam! Most of the action scenes pretty much follow this level of nonsense. Oh well, maybe the writing is good? Nope! Back story for the newbie team member to make us care about him when he gets killed pretty much goes like this, "So, how did you get into this line of work?" " I was in Afganistan for three years when my platoon got trapped in the oil zone. By the time we got out, four of my friends were dead. When I got back to base, they had shot the dog I was taking care of, so, I'd had enough killing for the day"! That's it? That's the best the writes of this mega budget could come up with? Also to the character, since you had enough killing you decided to become a mercenary where you would kill people all day! Speaking of death, I read a stunt man died making this POS. people die everyday, on the subway, in their sleep, lots o reasons, but honestly, I can't think of a bigger waste of life than to die for this movie.

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69 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

Welcome back to the '80s

6/10
Author: msia91 from Penang, Malaysia / Chicago, USA
17 August 2012

It takes a certain mindset to appreciate a movie like "The Expendables 2". One has to be a fan of the action genre of the 1980s and early 1990s, as well as enjoying those action heroes' persona and screen presence whenever they appear on-screen. They did not necessarily have to act well, but they had to be tough, heroic, stoic, larger than life. Realism need not really apply here - it's all about the fun factor. People paid to see these guys blow away the scum of the earth as they only know how.

"The Expendables 2" is the first sequel (and it most certainly would not be the last) to Stallone's 2010 surprise blockbuster which was intended as a glorious throwback to the films of that era. This one is no exception. However, it is a rare sequel which is better than the first. The story may not be important in these types of movies, but in this one the screenplay had a much clearer and stronger narrative than the first film, making it clear that the stakes are raised, thus enabling the story, however shallow, to be more engaging for the audience.

Director Simon West ("Con Air") did wonders with the action sequences as he usually does with his movies. The majority of the action sequences are well shot with wide angles and much better stunt choreography (with CGI touches added here and there, but not as pervasive as the first film's CGI blood; good ol' squibs are used here mostly) which gets annoying with the film's rapid editing at times. Brian Tyler's music score was fairly engaging but didn't really stand out. Overall, the technical aspects of the film really shows off the big budget for the film, and it pays off ultimately.

But what about the characters? If you've seen the director's cut for the first film, that's about as close as you can get for character development. Like the first, this is all-out action, but it has some dramatic moments too. There is a line about coping with death that Barney Ross mutters that feels kind of sad knowing Stallone's own real- life predicament. Van Damme's having a blast as the Villain, and a menacing one at that. The biggest disappointment was that of Jet Li's very minimal screen presence, like a cameo. Hopefully an extended version will fix that problem.

The film's biggest entertainment value comes in the constant one-liners from and between the action icons of the eras, as well as their presence and their dispatching of the bad guys. The banter here is certainly more hilarious and less bland than the first film - there is much more chemistry between the characters. Their screen presence needs no explanation: Sylvester Stallone. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bruce Willis. Jean-Claude Van Damme. Chuck Norris. Dolph Lundgren. Jason Statham. Jet Li. Need I say more? Cult or mainstream, these guys each has hordes of fans - and they have good reason to.

I grew up on these types of movies and ultimately "The Expendables 2" satisfies my craving for good old-fashioned movie bloodlust in wake of the ever-rising wave of PG-13, CGI-laden action films ("Total Recall" remake, anyone? Oh Arnie, where art thou?). That being said, I expect an extended director's cut as I feel that some parts were awkwardly put together, and hopefully these removed scenes will make the film better as a whole. For now, "The Expendables 2" is very good entertainment, as shallow as it is technically well-made and ends the 2012 summer movie season with a big bang.

Now bring on "The Expendables 3" with Steven Seagal and Wesley Snipes (to basically complete the cycle of 80's/'90s action heroes). Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Harrison Ford, Nicolas Cage and Clint Eastwood (my #1 action hero) are also most welcome indeed.

Overall rating: 65%

Action movie rating: 75%

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81 out of 132 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: The Expendables 2

8/10
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
16 August 2012

The mercenaries are back! And if the response from the box office is stellar, I suppose The Expendables can build upon a formula that's established through the two films to date, that somehow follows how James Bond would have done it, with its longevity inspiring similar treatment. There's the opening big bang action sequence, followed by Bruce Willis' shady CIA operative Mr Church coming on to provide Barney (Sylvester Stallone) and his team a challenge they cannot refuse (by way of blackmail). Technology and weapons go down to bare basics with loads of guns, knives and brass knuckles, with room for a female companion somewhere, against a mob boss played by somebody well known.

The Muscles from Brussels Jean-Claude Van Damme had agreed to step into the shoes of the villainous boss called erm, Villain, and shows he still got the moves with his signature roundhouse kicks. His plan is to make billions through mining weapons grade plutonium from a mine mapped out by the CIA, and together with lackey Hector (Scott Adkins), snarl in cocky fashion for the most parts, with Hector doing most of the dirty work of enslaving villagers to do their dirty bio-hazardous work. I guess egos got put aside when both got signed on to play villains amongst hundreds of faceless goons who are plain fodder when the Expendables come knocking, no thanks to a personal vendetta being set up early in the movie, giving Barney just cause for tracking, hunting, then killing.

Don't expect The Expendables sequel to be any brainier than the original of course, since nothing is cerebral here, and anything that exhibits a little bit of ingenuity, or brains, get mocked at. Just look at how Dolph Lundgren's Gunner Jensen got treated throughout as a mad scientist equivalent. It's really all about the bigger the guns, muscles and explosions, with the first scene establishing just how our heroes would plough through their adversaries - with ease like hot knife through butter. There's plenty of CG blood, gore, decapitations of various appendage done in a myriad of styles, they're all dumbed down to somewhat cartoony violence - where no matter what the faceless goons throw at The Expendables, nothing sticks, with vice versa accuracy the other way round. You may balk at scenes involving high caliber weapons literally ripping through a hole in someone's body or blowing up heads to smithereens, but it's the way the heroes become executioners, all without remorse.

Directing duties are given to Simon West, and in all honesty, he ensured a better way to shoot all the action, that is a leg up from how Stallone decided to do it, which was a blurry mash of clashing bodies in extreme closeups. Here we get to see who does what, with some incredible stunts filled with movie logic loopholes, you'd fare better if you leave your inhibitions at the door, and enjoy this action film for what it is. The screenplay by Richard Wenk and Stallone doesn't leave any room for character development, except for the continued buddy bromance between Barney and his right hand man Lee Christmas (Jason Statham). And their crew also got pared down with Jet Li appearing in just the first two scenes, with the team made up most of the time by Barney, Lee, Gunner, Hale (Terry Crews) and Toll (Randy Couture), with Yu Nan replacing Li as the token female and Chinese character who balances brains, guts and brawn.

What this outing now had, is plenty of jokes. It doesn't pretend to be what it's not, and junks seriousness, ever willing to trade in laughs at every opportunity. There are enough corny one liners here, and action set ups, that parody the action careers of Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger combined, the trio whom most audiences are really here to watch gracing the same screen together. And let's not forget good old Chuck Norris as Booker, with a tip of the hat going in the direction of the countless of Chuck Norris jokes that get a leg up when told by the legendary man himself, with his Booker having a reputation of being much of a lone wolf, coupled with a knack of appearing when needed, and given the abilities of all his action film roles combined.

The story centers on a vendetta to be settled between The Expendables and Villain, and being a personal one too, with a handful of emotional scenes for Stallone to flex his acting chops a little. In what would be an uncanny coincidence, Stallone himself had to battle personal loss during the promotional tour of this film with the passing of his son. Despite having his crew made up of veterans of action roles past, Stallone continues to show that he has a fun-filled, violent action franchise that's picking up traction, and has enough legs to warrant more films to come, especially when more names like Snipes and Eastwood have been bandied around as potential inclusions. Action fans, this is something that you won't want to miss, especially if you've grown up in the 80s and 90s!

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35 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

This is how it works ?

1/10
Author: horst69 from United States
9 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's incredible, the amount of money this movie has supposedly made .

I am a huge fan of action movies; I have watched and rewatched all the flicks with Stallone , Schwarzenegger, Stratham, and many of those with the other known actors .

The first Expendables movie I enjoyed a lot; however, this one is taking it way beyond the silly, yet entertainable threshold .

Where to start ?

The acting is wooden, to say the least . Granted, the dialogues are poorly written, and the attempts at humour and the references are clumsy and forced .

But most of the known actors in this movie can do so much better, have done so in other roles , and are so experienced, that I find it hard to comprehend how they could agree to do this script . The money, of course, yet I somehow think that their performance in this movie will seriously hurt their career prospects .

This is sad for veterans like Van Damme and Lundgren, who did great in their recent projects to add some substance to their pedigree, but where cast as 2 dimensional morons for this .

The action is decent, though not very original, and very much on the silly side . I don't mind if it's realistic, but this is just action for action's sake, and thrown in like random video clips ; the action scenes don't even pretend to be real, as they do in any good action movie, but are intentionally created like circus acts .

Which brings me to editing; you know those over-sized Legos for toddlers ? The kids can put them together , it's easy and they fit , but it's just a bunch of bricks, no gaps but the colors don't match and there is no discernible shape . That's this movie .

The pieces somehow fit, never match, but everything got squeezed in that was available and deemed necessary , no matter how poorly executed . All boxes ticked, job done . Some parts even seem to have been shot seperatly and poorly stuck together, like some of the Schwarzenegger appearances; scenes jump from one environment to the next, held together by some half sentence in the previous scene .

What really killed it for me, was Chuck Norris - the straw and the camel's back .

It's not just that he is such a bad actor, and doesn't even look like himself anymore; take Steven Seagal as an example - he is horrible, but he can be made fun of easily and blended into this kind of movie (if the writers had had any sense of humor to start with) . But Norris isn't funny, nothing about him is . An empty shell with a beard glued to it, his legacy is being known for not worth being known .

Yet still he got a big part in the later stages of the movie - randomly and inexplicably thrown in, like everything else .

It's truly bad movie, and goes to show how marketing can even make a skeleton effort of a movie into a success .

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