Reviewed by: Russell Emory
|Featuring:||Sylvester Stallone … Barney Ross
Jason Statham … Lee Christmas
Bruce Willis … Church
Liam Hemsworth … Bill ’The Kid’ Timmons
Arnold Schwarzenegger … Trench
Jean-Claude Van Damme … Jean Vilain
Jet Li … Yin Yang
Chuck Norris … Booker
Dolph Lundgren … Gunnar Jensen
Charisma Carpenter … Lacy
Scott Adkins … Hector
Terry Crews … Hale Caesar
Randy Couture … Toll Road
|Director:||Simon West—“Con Air,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “The Mechanic”|
Nu Image Films
“Back for war”
When you go into a movie like “The Expendables 2,” I hope you don’t expect to see high art, because you will be sorely disappointed. Sylvester Stallone is back as Barney Ross, the leader of a mercenary team that feature Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Liam Hemsworth, yes Chris Hemsworth’s little brother. Ross and his team are introduced in an over the top action sequence in which they must rescue a Chinese businessman and, unbeknownst to them, Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger), one of Ross’s competitors.
After this over the top sequence, the team is hired by Church (Bruce Willis) to retrieve an item from a safe on a plane that crashed in Albania. Maggie (Yu Nan) is added to the team at the request of Church to assist in the retrieval from the safe. While in Albania, the team is ambushed by terrorist Jean Vilian (Jean-Claude Van Damme), who steals the item and kills a member of Ross’s team. Ross vows to hunt Vilian down and avenge his teammate. Along the way, Ross and his team receive assists from Chuck Norris, and eventually Willis and Schwarzenegger.
The profanity is limited throughout the movie. Limited for a movie that is rated R. The s-word is used less than 15 times, and the a-word less than 5 times. There are 2 sexual innuendo jokes that are mild and could be missed if you’re not looking for them.
The R rating comes from the violence, and there is a lot—some of it bloody. The violence is extreme, and, while at sometimes bloody, the blood and gore is kept to a minimum. There are a couple of disturbing scenes where the good guys kill bad guys, but again on a scale of graphicness, we are talking about a 4 out of 10 when it comes to blood and guts. There are only three or four times where you get a good look at the blood, and that is kept to shots of 5 seconds or less. There is also a scene where a character is beheaded by a tail rotor on a helicopter.
Morally speaking, there is not much to the movie. There are issues that pop up. Ross’s team helps a small Albanian village whose men have been pressed into slave labor in mines by Vilian’s group, but Ross and his team do the job more to get at Vilian, rather than help the villagers. If you want to give the film a moral rating based on characters’ actions, you would have to give it an F, just based on the fact that these men kill without remorse and make jokes about it.
Spiritually, as little as there is morally, there is less spiritually. There is a scene that may offend man, where Jason Statham’s character poses as a priest in the village’s church and ruthlessly kills the men that have come for the village’s children to work in Vilian’s mines. Many would find that kind of violence in a church unsettling and offensive. Other than that, there is not much spirituality in this movie. God is not mentioned, Van Damme mentions the goat as being the pet of Satan, and the church in the village is just there; it serves no purpose, other than as a venue for an action sequence.
Overall, I can see how many would be offended by this movie, but this movie is mild compared to what it could be. I would warn that if you are offended by violence, and it is extreme in this movie, stay away. I personally found the violence so extreme, it almost became comical. The action is over the top and unrealistic, but I think that is what the filmmakers were going for. The action sequences are well executed, and, for the most part, the aging stars have a great sense of humor about themselves and the absurdity of the action. I, at times, had a hard time distinguishing when to laugh or just sit back and enjoy the ride.
If you go see this movie and are offended by the violence, don’t say you weren’t warned. This movie is rated R for bloody violence, plain and simple. This is one movie where I am just going to present the information and let the viewer decide for themselves.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.