Expendables 2 Review

By August 17, 2012

Van Damme’s roundhouse kicks, Chuck Norris doing Chuck Norris shtick, Statham fighting with brass knuckles, Schwarzenegger/Willis/Stallone in the same action scene, amazingly violent and epic action and Van Damme/Dolph Lundgren back in the same film! What more could you ask for in an action movie? Sure, you could ask where is Steven Seagal, but this is pretty darn close to the best action cast in the world.

You’ll notice I used the word “darn” in case Chuck Norris is reading this review. If you didn’t know Chuck fought to have a lot of the curing removed from the film, and for a PG-13 rating (which would have ruined this film). You can’t censor all of those R-rated action heroes! Thankfully, they stuck with the R-rating but they did make some changes to the script. That’s why you’ll notice the cursing is very PG-13 throughout the entire movie, which makes no sense because the violence is out of control. You will hear the “S” word and other bits of bad language but the missing “F” word isn’t that noticeable. I was too focused on the epic action and the fact that the action heroes I grew up with, were all on the same screen together kicking butt (another one for you Mr. Norris!).

Listen, I understand people are tired of the Chuck Norris shtick that has clouded the internet for years now. The fact that director Simon West (“Con Air”) incorporated a little Norris shtick in to the film was classic.  You’ll know when the scene hits and if you like those jokes, you will definitely laugh!

“The Expendables 2” is worlds beyond “The Expendables,” mainly because the direction from West is much better than Stallone’s. The first film was a mess with decent action but a terrible story and uncomfortable dialogue. I’m not saying the plot in this film is great or the dialogue is Oscar worthy, but it seemed much more pieced together. The story actually flowed and the dialogue wasn’t too painful. The one-liners were cheesy but that’s the point. The film is completely self-aware and has fun with itself.

 The film stars Sylvester Stallone (“Rambo”), Arnold Schwarzenegger (“Commando”), Bruce Willis (“Die Hard”), Chuck Norris (doesn’t need a movie mentioned), Jean Claude Van Damme (“Bloodsport”), Dolph Lundgren (“Universal Soldier”), Jason Statham (“Crank”), Terry Crews (“White Chicks”), Liam Hemsworth (“The Hunger Games”) and UFC star Randy Couture.

The story revolves around Mr. Church (Willis) who calls upon the Expendables to seek out a secret safe that contains a valuable box. He meets with Barney Ross (Stallone) saying that Ross owes him $5 million and if this job is complete, Ross’ debt to him will be no more. Ross assembles his team including Christmas (Statham), Hale Caesar (Crews), Road (Couture) and Gunner (Lundgren) to complete the mission. They have some help along the way from some old friends played by Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger!

I’m all for a fun and entertaining action flick and “The Expendables 2” delivers exactly that.  Growing up watching flicks like “Bloodsport”, “Commando”, “Terminator: Judgment Day”, “Rambo” and “Universal Soldier,” it was incredible to see all these guys on screen together having a great time. The action is incredible and way over the top, which is just the way I like it. The characters essentially make fun of themselves and even reference their older films like “Die Hard”, etc. I have to give credit to Jason Statham for his incredible fight sequences, particularly the one where he was dressed as a Priest.

I saw the film at a midnight showing with a sold out crowd and the movie received cheers and claps over a dozen times. Stallone and West knew exactly what fans wanted, and you get to have just as much fun as they did, making the film.

If you’re looking for Oscar-worthy screenplay, plot and acting, you’re looking at the wrong place. If you want non-stop, over-the-top, action with the greatest action stars of all time, this is the movie for you. I wanted the latter and it delivered!

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Kevin McCarthy

Kevin "BDK" McCarthy is a film critic in the Washington, DC metro area for FOX 5 (WTTG-TV) and CBS RADIO. Kevin graduated from George Mason University in the spring of 2006 and majored in communications with a concentration in media production and criticism. Kevin began his movie reviewing career on "The Junkies" morning show, heard on 106.7FM The FAN, where he also hosted a movie show Friday evenings from 7p-10p until 2009. In the summer of 2007 after dressing up as a Wizards cheerleader (yes, this is how he got the job), Kevin was hired as the movie reviewer for the FOX 5 morning news where he also contributes as the entertainment reporter. His full written reviews and celebrity interviews can be found at nerdtears.com. Kevin is known for his conversational writing style and unique rating system. He has loved movies for as long as he can remember and saw his first R-rated film when he was just eight years old. This only occurred because he cut a deal with his folks that if he received a great report card, he would be able to watch James Cameron's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." After seeing that film at such a tender age, Kevin knew that movies would be a centerpiece in his life. The film is still Kevin's favorite action film of all time. Some of Kevin's favorite moments in his movie reviewing career have been interviewing some of his influences/idols: Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Gary Oldman, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Tim Burton, Don Cheadle, Kevin Smith, Darren Aronofsky, and more! Kevin appears on "The Junkies" every Friday morning and will continue to make appearances on FOX 5 TV. He is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and his reviews are featured on rottentomatoes.com. He can be followed on twitter at twitter.com/bdkreviews and Facebook at facebook.com/bdkreviews. Kevin's favorite film of all time is "True Romance."

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