The Expendables 2 - Review

Even more so than with the first movie, action fans around the world should get an orgasm just seeing those giants together in one movie. Adding Van Damme, Chuck Norris and a non-cameo performance from Schwarzenegger and Willis to the bunch, it's a dream come true.
Everything promises Expendables 2 to be bigger, even more loaded and epic than the first one.
Does EX2 deliver or does it crumble under its own weight?

The plot:
Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.  (source: IMDb)

Just like with the first movie, the story is nothing to write home about. It's a typical revenge story topped up with some terrorist and exploited town subplot. But picking on the story aspects in this movie would be competely missing the point. The story is of course by far not the main focus here. It serves only as a backdrop and reason for action to happen.
Let's not even start talking about realism here.
Yet still, it should be mentioned that the story in Expendables 2 is quite a bit more compelling and better told than the one from EX1. There's a good bit more emotional impact and involving aspects put into as well as better acting performances (compared to EX1).
It's far away from acting masterpieces, but for a movie of this caliber it's okay.

So for the record: Yes the story is incredibly flat, yes it doesn't even quite make sense, yes it's almost only action....AND YES I DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT IT!

"Now where is that Muscles from Brussels?"

Now let's get to business: How does each of the action heroes hold up?

Terry Crews, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren got pushed to the background in this sequel. Out of the three, Crews is the one who gets slightly more attention due to his constant wisecrackin' badassery all the time. I personally also like Crews the best out of all three of them. Couture and Lundgren are generally always in the background and don't have anything important to say.
Overall, those three represent the backup-crew. But they're still fun to watch.

Jet Why is this guy in this movie? He's on every ensemble poster and even has his own character poster. But he's literally in this movie for the first 10 minutes and that's it!!! Waste of talent!

Liam Hemsworth was the new addition to the Expendables, what i truely didn't get! Why does that pussy brother of Chris Hemsworth even deserve to share the same screen with some of the biggest actionstars in the world...well that was until later. Let's just say that Liam Hemsworth's character has a purpose in this movie. With that said, he does ok in EX2. Don't worry. You'll see what i mean.
I just don't want to spoil anything now.


Jason Statham is one of the best actionstars of this current generation. The role of the knife-throwing Christmas suits him very well. He is both funny and a good sidekick to Stallone. Therefore, Statham is next to Stallone the "second main protagonist". He does a good job keeping up with all the heavyweights in the movie, although not quite at their level yet. But overall, very appealing and good use of Statham in EX2 just like in EX1.

Stallone is one of the old heavyweights in this movie and the man who made this action-crossover even possible. Next to Liam Hemsworth, he is the one who takes care of the "serious" acting business in this movie. Most of the drama and tragedy of scenes is primarily delivered by Stallones facial expressions/acting. Although it's still a basic revenge plot, he does well delivering the anger and hate that comes with it. Also he is one of the few older action heroes that to this day keep up the bodybuilding. And it shows. Stallone is in top form once again and does pretty good giving us some well choreographed action scenes. Although many of the other actioners more than once steal his show.

Jean-Claude Van Damme is hands down the best character in this sequel. You can see in every scene that he just enjoys playing a bad guy. The choice of making his character French to begin with, completely smoothens out the awkwardness of his accent. He is another example of an old actioner in top form. Doing those jump kicks at the age of 51. Wow! Not bad! He's the most fun to watch in this movie.
Oh and the fight Stallone vs. Van what a great and brutal fight. That was more of what i expected (although maybe it's a bit short).

Van Damme has just fun being an asshole.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris unfortunately get the short end of the stick (along with Jet Li). They are way underused and have very little screentime. And for a sequel that promises not another short cameo but a full action performance with those badasses that's quite a disappointment.
Chuck Norris represents a Deus-Ex-Machina-like one-man-army who works completely alone (Lone Wolf) and more than once saves Stallone's ass. It's a great idea considering all the Norris-jokes that put him on a godlike status.
Schwarzenegger is probably the action hero who is in the worst shape out of all of them. It sure is extremely awesome to see him kick ass again with a huge AA-12 shotgun. But his acting, movements and line-deliveries (especially the puns) come off very very rusty and forced.
I really hope that Arnold does some Bodybuilding or at least training for his next action movies to get back into the swing of things.
Bruce Willis is the character i cared the least about. Yes it's awesome to see him again and he is an old actionhero but to this day he does plenty of action movies. Therefore, i was not nearly that hyped for him.
Arnold, Bruce and Chuck DO kick serious ass in the final battle scene. But that's pretty much it. for 90% of the movie we see nothing of them, making it feel as if they got thrown in just as a bonus and not as a significant part of the movie.

I wanted more of what I saw in the final battle!

Overall, i would strictly recommend this movie ONLY to fans of 80s and 90s action movies, who grew up with those old heroes or who at least developed a love for their classic action movies.
This movie is pure action fan service and nothing else.
Expendables 2 again is one of those movies where the trailers are better than the actual movie, but still, this is a sequel that surpasses its predecessor.
Seeing my childhood heroes back in action, even with not as much screentime as they deserved, it's still a treat.
Expendables 2 is a dumb but very fun fanservice flick that might have some trouble balancing all the actors from its huge cast, but which also seems to gradually improve its franchise with every sequel.

Final Verdict: 6 out of 10 


  1. If you really want to think about it deeply, then you will see that this is a bad movie. But everybody here knows that and it doesn’t matter because all they want to do is blow stuff up, shoot people down, and have some fun while doing so. That’s all that matters really. Nice review.

  2. It's a trash/fanboy movie kind of thing. This movie isn't supposed to be thought about deeply. It's all about fanservice and it's fairly good at it (although it could've been better). You pretty much summed it up.

    Thanks ^^