The Expendables 2 (2012) – By Eric Lampaert

15th February 2016

The Expendables 2


Have you ever been left puzzled after thinking about the birth of our expandable universe? Surely something got the big bang started? What the hell was it? I’m getting confused just writing this. If the answer to my first question was yes, then you will know how befuddled I felt at the end of The Expendables 2. Did I like the film or not? I don’t know! To truly explain this conundrum, I have to use some elements of this film, so this is the bit where I say “spoiler alert”.

Here’s the real question; was it an action film or a spoof? It’s a pretty easy answer. Action film. It’s full of action film stars. So many in fact(ion) that I would not have been surprised if a computer-controlled half-robot full-zombie Bruce Lee turned up to save the team of expendable actors. (Let’s be honest; they are all getting old. And if you think I’m being mean; that’s one of their jokes! I winced more at the thought of their arthritis kicking in every time they kicked some human detritus). Everyone was in it. Everyone! And having Arnold Schwarzenegger (Arnie), Bruce Willis (Brucie) and Sylvester Stallone (Silvie?) in a row shooting massive guns was an incredible sight.

There’s a lot of action. And it’s not just the actors. The fights were real fun and violent enough to do the stereotypical foetus-holding-its-crotch positions complete with audible pain from the human surround sound. There were seventy types of transport used in the first 2 minutes of the film. I’m pretty sure I’m not exaggerating, although I didn’t look at my watch once during the film, which tells you something; it was fun! And there were a lot of weapons; perhaps too many. “Look at the acting I’m doing with this gun. And now, I’m doing some acting with this gun.”

So in terms of action film, yes, there was a lot of action. And like every good action film, there’s sometimes a cheesy comedy line. But in terms of cheese, The Expendables 2 is a whole cheese shop called “Cheesy cheese cheese” in the little French town of Roquefort, owned by a man named Jacques Fromage who has regular sex with Emmental (that cheese with holes in it). There were so many cheesy lines, and unfortunately, a lot of them referenced the real-life actors and their previous works, and an actual Chuck Norris joke. There was a trio of terminator references. In fact, at one point (This is a spoiler alert moment so feel free to start reading again at the next paragraph) Arnie tells Brucie “I’ll be back”. This angers Brucie for Arnie always says that he’ll be back so Brucie goes off to fight bad guys instead. Arnie shakes his head and then says “yippee-ki-yay”. Really? That’s happening is it?? I’m surprised Stallone didn’t shout for Adrian.

I did enjoy the film. And I don’t mind a bit of tongue in cheek, but The Expendable 2 tongue rips through its cheesy cheek. The overuse of other film quotes was acknowledging that the film had no narrative; it was just a documentary about action film actors.

You should still go see it though.

Written by Eric Lampaert