The Expendables 2

Rated R 102 min. 2012

The Expendables 2 (R) Like Golden Girls for the NRA, it's The Expendables 2, as Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a bevvy of AARP-aged action stars return to the screen to blow up stuff and show off the true power of Just for Men. Going in, I knew — as an immutable, scientific fact — that this was going to be a dumb movie. The question beforehand, however, was: What kind of dumb? I'm sorry to report that The Expendables 2 simply takes itself too seriously to be much fun. The self-seriousness of it all probably comes from its biggest stars. Stallone, who co-wrote the film, and Schwarzenegger don't strike me as the most self-aware, nor humble actors you'll find. Der Arnold's whole purpose in the film is to supply awful one-liners and provide some comic relief, but if Jingle All the Way taught us anything, it's that he's no comedian. With his receding hairline and Hawaiian shirt, he's more like your corny, drunk uncle, or maybe Tom Arnold from the Fatherland. Thankfully, this isn't the case for everyone involved. Jason Statham's made a career being more charming and likable than the trash he stars in, while Bruce Willis proves why he's had the healthiest career out of all these guys. Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme were never on the Stallone/Schwarzenegger plateau of mega-stars, so they're given room to do something besides be uber-badasses. Van Damme in particular fares nicely, but as the picture's villain, he's allowed to chew a little scenery. Your best bet for getting maximum enjoyment out of The Expendables 2, which definitely isn't going to come from its generic revenge plot, is trying to decide its worst moment. Right now, it's a dogfight between Jet Li saying, "See you later, alligator," and Stallone shouting "Rest in Pieces!" after shooting some dude. —Justin Souther

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Simon West

Writer: David Agosto and Ken Kaufman

Producer: Avi Lerner and Kevin King Templeton

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Willis


The Expendables 2

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