Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
on 31 May 2013
The first `Expendables' film was mad, bad and fun to know. It took itself a little too seriously, but was actually as daft as a brush. Having the likes of Stallone, Statham, Li and Lundgren on the screen at the same time meant action fans had a fixed grin on their face. Flash forward a few years and we have the sequel that most people didn't want or need, but with more Schwarzenegger, Willis and added JVD and Norris. It should have more of the ingredients that made the first one decent enough. However, the film lacks something; heart. This is a film that moves along on cruise control with the actors and director Simon West, not seeming to care what happens - this means the viewer won't either.
The Expendables team are back and after an unfortunate confrontation with the villainous Vilain (Van Damme) they go out on a personal mission of vengeance. The chemistry between Stallone and Van Damme is one of the highlights of the film, but they are kept far apart for most of it. Stallone also works really well with Statham and the Ross/Christmas double team prove to be the highlights of the film. Two character team ups is enough, but the issues with the film result from trying to create too many relationships. The film flits from couple to couple as they quip off one another in an inane fashion.
The film is also not helped by the tone, although `Expendables 2' is full of one liners, as a whole it takes itself too seriously, coming across as pious. The editing is also poor; action scenes should be developed intelligently so that they make sense; who are the bad guys, where are they coming from, where are they in relation to the heroes? In `Expendables 2' you don't know who is coming from where, or for what reason. It is just a series of gunshots, people falling over and then a quip. The effects are also awful with naff looking blood splatter undermining the onscreen action even more. I lay the blame for most of the films problems at West's door, this once great action helmer (`Con Air' is still a fave of mine) fails to control what is going on. When Stallone looks like a better director than you, it may be time to reflect. All the 80s actions heroes in the world cannot make up for the directorial mess this film is.
The extras on the disc actually prove more entertaining than the film as they treat themselves less seriously than the film. And although the quality of the film itself may not be great, BluRay is the way to go as there are numerous open expanses that look great in the format, but it does also highlight some of the cheaper special effects.