DVD Review: The Expendables 2

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The sequel to the high-octane shoot-em-up action frenzy that was
“The Expendables” comes our way thanks to our friends out at Lionsgate, who sent over a copy of “The Expendables 2″ for us to review. If you’re looking for action, then man, will you ever find it here.

“The Expendables 2″ once again reunites us with the Expendables, the band of extremely familiar mercenaries who will do most anything and shoot most anybody for a paycheck. And this time, Barney and his crew look like they’ve got a fat paycheck all sewn up. But as you might expect, when it’s the Expendables, nothing goes exactly right, and one of Barney’s boys will get murdered by a terrorist for hire, named Vilain, of all things. Now not only will Barney et al have to go on an insane ultra-murder spree to get a note of payback, they’ll also run afoul of an even bigger threat they didn’t see coming? How big? Well, let’s just say it starts with five tons of plutonium.

Yes, once again, the action frenzy will carry on in earnest. The great thing about “The Expendables” was that it just plain old did not care about things like a coherent plotline or character development. I once described “The Expendables” as being like a two-hour Powerthirst commercial, and it was widely expected–almost demanded–that “The Expendables 2″ up the ante. Just how it would do that was unclear, but it was expected nonetheless.

Indeed, “The Expendables 2″ had pretty much everything that could be needed for such a venture. Violence like no tomorrow. Tons of explosions. All the biggest names in action movies for the last thirty years, including some that didn’t make it from the original. They’ve got Chuck Norris in this thing, and for crying out loud, we all know the stories around Chuck Norris. Some of them will show up here. The body count for the first four minutes alone is in the double digits, though frankly, I lost count.

This is an absolute glory of excess, a gigantic cinematic hyperbole that watches like a fifth grade recess imagination extravaganza. The bad guy’s name is Villain, for crying out loud. Sure, it’s spelled Vilain, but it’s pronounced Villain. It’s got some funny bits, loads of violence, and virtually no story at all. But it doesn’t need one. It’s trading on its sheer mindless bloodsport and doing a fine job of it. It’s like some kind of insane gasoline river: three inches deep, a mile long, and on fire.

“The Expendables 2″ will live up to its expectations, as long as you were expecting a nearly non-stop series of explosions and assorted bloodsport. If that’s the case, then congratulations, everything you want and more is right here. Those looking for more depth than your classic mud puddle will allow, however, should look elsewhere.

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