Jungle
The Expendables 2 (BLU-RAY)

The Expendables 2

Movie
Studio(s): 
Director(s): 
On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Grade:
B-
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 43 Minutes
Did You Know?

The film reveals that Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) has an advance degree of chemical engineering. This is a reference to Ludgren himself, who has a master's degree in chemical engineering. The character abandoned his career a scientist to work as bouncer in order to impress a girl. In real life, Ludgren turned it down to work as bodyguard for his then girlfriend Grace Jones. ~IMDB

The first Expendables movie was so forgettable for me that I can’t recall if it was as horrible as this second installment of what seems to be inspired by a slew of first person shooter games, Loony Tunes, and all around amateur hour in script writing.

In this installment we find Ross (Sylvester Stallone; Rocky), Christmas (Jason Statham; The Mechanic), Yang (Jet Li; The One), Jensen (Dolph Lundgren; He-Man and the Masters of the Universe), Caesar (Terry Crews; Everybody Hates Chris), Toll Road (Randy Couture; Redbelt), and new comer Billy The Kid (Liam Hemsworth; The Hunger Games) up to their usual antics- killing hundreds and spewing one-liners. So, yeah, right off the bat you get a glimpse of what this sequel is all about with the crew firing more ammo then can be imagined, bad guy heads being literally blown off, and a group of actors coming at the 80’s action man formula a bit too cocky. It’s just an overblown circus of carnage and stupid dialogue that seems to have been dusted off from scripts of old and glued together to form this farce of a film.

The big story arc here is that one of the Expendables is killed on a mission, gee I wonder who it will be, by the villain of the piece, ironically named Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme; JCVD), and the rest of the crew carry on leaving a trail of bodies in their attempt to avenge their fallen comrade. Well, all but Jet Li, who performs a disappearing act in the first fifteen or so minutes of the film. Replacing Li is Maggie (Nan Yu; Speed Racer), an expert in her own right who has been placed on the team by Church (Bruce Willis; Red).

As the film rolls on (and on) more surprise guests pop up (Chuck Norris and Arnie), all spouting terrible one liners clothed in references to their past achievements in cinema history. The film seems unsure weather it wants to play as homage to its stars and their past films, poke fun at the genre it’s slotted in, or if it’s just a free for all because we all know people will flock to the film anyway. In any case it had some enjoyable moments, brief ones, but all together it’s a crap film in my opinion. As always final judgment is yours.

PICTURE QUALITY:
Expendables 2 can have a remarkable picture at times but it is also marred by area’s of softness, grain, and loss of definition. I’m not quite sure what’s going with this film, as can be seen in the opening scene where the crew find their objective and a surprise guest. In one scene the picture is well defined, crisp, color is vibrant. When the angle switches over the scene is muddled by all of the above issues. Then when the camera angle changes back everything is fine again. Equipment failure maybe or another type of homage that I just don’t get. Either way it’s a mash up of quality for most of the film.

Audio is interesting here, ranging from the mostly standard 5.1 to 7.1 and the newest sound spectrum on the horizon 11.1. All three of the above mentioned formats are outrageously amazing bringing the home cinematic experience to new heights.

BONUS FEATURES:
~Commentary with Director Simon West (Con Air)
~God’s of War - Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Anti-Heroes: Cast and crew go in front of the camera to talk about getting the cast back together. Some ego massage between cast members and a look at how the film came together. Stallone refers to it as “Between a rock and a hard place or a feathered fish”. Not sure what that last one means, but I see where he’s coming from as he states he wasn’t sure how he wanted to approach the film so he just threw everything including the kitchen sink at it.
~On the Assault- The Real Life Weaponry of The Expendables 2: Join Randy Couture as he heads to Las Vegas to fire off some of the weapons in the film at The Gun Store.
~Guns For Hire: The Real Life Expendables: Interviews with real life private security agencies and what their job entails.
~Deleted Scenes: It’s obvious why some of these scenes were cut. It looked like play fighting or just plain drag.
~Gag Reel: This is how a gag reel should be. Instead of saying it’s a gag reel and then intentionally doing stupid stuff to make a gag reel for your movie, just show us the parts in the film where actors screwed up. Short but sweet.
~BD/Digital/UV versions
~Big Guns, Bigger Heroes - The 1980’s and the Rise of the Action Film: Not what I thought it would be. Instead of just rehashing the films of the stars we get an in-depth look at the times including the emergence of Ronald Regan and his cultural impact as a man’s man kind of President, as well as some of the movements that effected the rise of the 80’s action hero, from the feminism movement to the anti-war movement (ironically). One to check out.

 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook