The Expendables 2

"That's how we deal with death. We can't change what it is, so we keep it light until it's time to get dark. And then we get pitch black."   - Barney Ross

release year: 2012
genre: action
viewing setting: home Bluray, 5/7/17 and 11/5/16 and 11/25/15 and 7/2/14 and 10/17/13 and 2/18/13 and 11/27/12 and theater, 8/17/12

synopsis: The group of mercenaries - along some new blood and old friends - undertakes a mission of revenge.

impressions: This is the second chapter in Sylvester Stallone's mission to make old-style action movies with old-style action stars. By and large, it works. This movie has more action/explosions/gunfire in its first ten minutes than most movies have in their entire running time. If anything, the only problem is this: there are so many big stars that not all of them can get much screen time. Jet Li, for example, participates in the opening mission and then leaves, never to be seen again. It's not a deal-breaker, just a side-effect of having so many big names. Schwarzenegger and Willis get a lot more to do here than in the first one, and each racks up a significant body count. The best additional role belongs to Chuck Norris, who has some really great lines that poke fun at his recent internet fame. All in all, if you liked the first one, you should see this one.

something this movie has that no other movie has: Chuck Norris' first on-screen movie appearance since the 1990s.

acting: Sylvester Stallone is the leader of the group. Dolph Lundgren is the psychotic giant. Jason Statham is the knife-expert. Terry Crews is the heavy-gun guy with the gigantic biceps. Randy Couture has little to do in the way of demolitions this time. Liam Hemsworth is one of the new guys, a sniper. Yu Nan is the other new person, a computer expert and general kick-ass chick. Jet Li is the martial artist, but as I said, he isn't in the entire movie. Jean-Claude Van Damme is the villain, who's utterly ruthless. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a competing mercenary who ends up owing the Expendables a favor. Bruce Willis is a CIA jerk who has a change of heart. Last but never least is Chuck Norris, who manages to be hilarious while also being a total bad-ass and racking up a huge body count.

final word: Very entertaining action from a number of 1980s and 1990s action icons.

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