The Expendables are back, but this time, they’ve brought reinforcements.
“The Expendables 2” ups the ante from the first action all-star gathering by adding the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme to the roster.
Critics agree that “Expendables 2” is bigger than the original in almost every way and that it delivers on the promises it makes to the audience at the outset. Whether it does anything else may be entirely up to you.
Here is what the critics are saying about “The Expendables 2.”
“It’s up to Stallone’s Barney Ross and his AARP team to save the world by grabbing hold of a stash of plutonium from a plane that crashed in Albania before the villain (Van Damme) gets it first. Simple stuff. Barney’s second-in-command Lee Christmas (Jason Statham, a baby at 44) is back in play. And there’s new blood in the form of Liam Hemsworth as a sniper trained in Afghanistan and Yu Nam as a Chinese tech genius who is — OMFG! — a woman. Their contractor, Mr. Trench (Willis), insists on it. And their friendly rival Trench (Schwarzenegger) is amused by it. Cue the hail of bullets.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
The Opening Scene
“In what might just stand as the most chaotic opening sequence ever filmed, ’Expendables 2’ careens out the gate at a reckless pace…. The ensuing 10-minute sequence is a cacophony of macho madness, featuring rifles, sub machine guns, bazookas, helicopters, flying daggers, airborne motorcycles, shattered helicopters, makeshift torpedo/cannons, sputtering sea planes, brutal decapitations and about 100 gallons of fake blood.” — Steven James Snyder, TIME
Compared to the First
“When Stallone gathered up a mini-platoon of action stars for the first ’Expendables’ two years ago — along with relative young ’uns like Jason Statham and Jet Li — it had a self-deprecating kick. ’2’ works harder to land punches, but when it does, it provides the kind of fun its fan base hopes for. But expectations, and targets, are lower all around.” — Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
The Final Word
“Taut, humorous and attractively packaged, the sequel is both fleet-footed and engaging enough to captivate audiences with more than just nonstop action.” — Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Expendables 2.”