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The Expendables 2 Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Pass the death, hold the jokes. Read full review

3.0

Grae Drake Profile

Can't say "expendable" without "duh" Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    51

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal John Anderson

    Does it all have to be so tedious? To the movie's credit, many of the inside jokes are pretty funny, and Mr. Lundgren is close to hilarious as a dissipated Swede named Gunner.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The Expendables 2 is corny, barbaric and sometimes visually murky. But humor and self-deprecating macho charm make this male pattern badness crowd-pleasing fun.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    What a fun-dumb relief! In the isolationist Expendables world, all foreigners are bad news. All buddy bonding is done with a wink. All pretenses of art are checked at the door. Someone even says, ''I'll be back.'' (Guess who?)

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    The Expendables 2 offers the sendoff adrenaline junkies are seeking before the more sedate pace of fall releases.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Expendables 2 reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 15 & under

The Expendables are still very violent, but much improved.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Expendables 2 has even more legendary action stars -- and is quite a bit better -- than The Expendables, so expect boys of all ages to be clamoring to see it. The violence is strong and constant but slightly less nasty than in the first film. Overall the feel is cartoonish, although the characters are motivated by revenge, and there's lots of killing (and fighting, spurting blood, and dead bodies) with no consequences. Language isn't nearly as strong as in the last movie (supposedly due to co-star Chuck Norris' objections) but does include about a half-dozen uses of "s--t." There's some love talk and flirting and a discussion of cheating, but most of the sexual content is mild. A character with a history of chemical dependence takes a drink from a flask from time to time but never appears drunk; some of the main characters smoke cigars. On the plus side, there's a strong female character this time around, in addition to many other improvements.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How did it affect you? What impact did it have?
  • Is this sequel more or less violent than its predecessor? What expectations do you think audiences/fans had after the first movie? What's the appeal of these action heroes, whose careers range over several decades?
  • Is Maggie a female role model? Does she present an unrealistic body image?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The Expendables 2 is mostly based on/driven by revenge, which enables the band of heroes to kill any number of bad guys without feeling bad about it. At one point, they're asked to help rescue some captured civilians. They initially refuse -- a rescue would get in the way of their mission -- but they eventually do it.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: A strong female character who's a wise and skilled fighter quickly becomes an equal among the men. Although the men are violent and driven by revenge, their hearts are generally in the right place.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The movie's violence is strong and graphic, but it's also cartoonish and without much weight or consequence. There's heavy shooting, spurting blood, and many dead bodies. There are also knives and stabbing, hitting with brass knuckles, and martial arts fighting. There's a helicopter crash and a very, very quick shot of a burning man. One major character dies. A character is beheaded by a whirling propeller, and a main character brings back a man's head in a bag. Kidnapping.

  • sex false1

    Sex: One of the main characters frequently speaks flirtatiously to his girlfriend on the phone. Viewers see them together in one scene, in which they kiss briefly. There's some discussion about her "cheating." The main female character flirts slightly with the lead male character. Additional flirting and love talk.

  • language false3

    Language: Several uses of "s--t," plus "bastards," "damn," "hell," "ass," and "swear to God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A large, old-fashioned Pepsi-Cola sign is highly visible in a few shots.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Dolph Lundgren's character has a history of "chemical dependence." He's seen drinking from a flask on more than one occasion, but he never seems drunk and is more in control this time around. Characters occasionally drink beer in a bar or clink bottles while flying a plane. Some characters smoke cigars.

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