Movie Review: The Expendables II

(Okay, so not only is this movie not fantasy, it’s not even sci-fi. Still, it’s my blog and I’ll review if I want to.)


I saw the original Expendables when it came out, so I knew what to expect when it came time for me to watch the sequel, The Expendables II. Big names of yesteryear, explosions, and gore. I was not disappointed. This movie has everyone and his mother in it: Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jason Statham, and a few other newer names. There was lots of explosions, lots of killing, and even a Chuck Norris joke by Chuck Norris himself. It was… amusing. I was gonna call it a blast, but the movie was just too silly to warrant that description. Of course, it never takes itself seriously. It was just old action heroes doing a remembrance film, or something like that.


One particularly memorable part was when Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger quoted each other. “I’ll be back,” … “Yippey kay yeah.” Classic. What else should I say in this review? I suppose I should summarize the plot: there wasn’t one. Okay, that’s not true. Basically, Sylvester Stallone (again, I don’t remember the names of the characters in this film… but the movie really wasn’t about character development anyway, so it’s a small loss) is the leader of a mercenary gang. They are sent on a “cakewalk” mission by their CIA contact Bruce Willis. But, of course, things go horribly wrong. One of their team is killed by Jean-Claude Van Damme and his gang of evil thugs (they are even Satan worshippers to boot… just to make sure you know they are really BAD). The thugs take off with some precious intel that will lead them to a large supply of weapons-grade plutonium. Angered at the death of their comrade, the good guys spend the rest of the movie tracking the bad guys to their center of operations. Chaos ensues. Blood and death everywhere. And guts galore.


The drawbacks: I was kind of disappointed by how little screen time Jet Li got. He was in the film in the beginning, then dropped out and was never seen again. Also, I would have liked to see more of Chuck Norris and Arnie… they were there, but only for a few minutes of screen time.


Anyway, the special effects were good. I could almost believe that guy really was decapitated by the sniper’s shot. Did I mention there was a lot of blood?


Okay, the summary: the plot was pretty standard action hero stuff. The amount of killing was pretty high. And the cast was in it largely for laughs. It was a fun time, but certainly not a cinematic masterpiece. But that’s okay, because it was never meant to be.


I’ll give it three and a half stars out of five.

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About atoasttodragons

The author, Matthew D. Ryan, lives in northern New York on the shores of Lake Champlain, one of the largest lakes in the continental United States, famous for the Battle of Plattsburgh and the ever-elusive Lake Champlain Monster, a beastie more commonly referred to as Champy. Matthew has studied philosophy, mathematics, and computer science in the academic world. He has earned a black belt in martial arts.

3 responses to “Movie Review: The Expendables II”

  1. mija1975 says :

    Looks like a fun movie!

  2. Shawn says :

    I saw the first movie but I have yet to catch the second one. I do not have high expectations for deep plot and gripping characters. I am a little disappointed that you say Jet Li had little screen time. That right there makes me not want to watch it. Chuck Norris will make me go see it, though. I heard you finally get a glimpse of the fist beneath the beard.

    I am willing to bet that your review is just spot on. I also took the first movie to be a bit of a remembrance montage to old action films. They really don’t make them like they used to. I might be too young to be saying that but it’s true.

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