The Expendables got a new director, some new players and a new attitude for the sequel. This movie is everything the first one should have been; hell the first five minutes alone is everything the first movie should have been. It appears the PG-13 rating was all a trick because this film is very much an R rated movie. The first five minutes three heads explode, and it just gets better from there, I’ll even go as far as to say the first five minutes of this are better than the whole first movie. The cast largely remains the same. You’ve got Sly Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, and Randy Couture as your main focus. Jet Li is back, however just in the opening sequence, this is one of my few complaints about the movie. But Jet Li isn’t missed much because we’ve got Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger actually in action, Chuck Norris is also added and there’s Nan Yu thrown on the team as well. There’s a pretty big deal made about Chuck Norris being added into this one, and all his parts were great but I do have one gripe, Norris has no fighting scenes. You’ve got a guy that’s a highly decorated real life fighter, a man that made all his money spin kicking people in the face and you’ve got him walking around shooting people and doing nothing else. I can look past that though because we’ve got another man that is no stranger to a spin kick in as a great villain, Jean-Claude Van Damme. While there was a giant missed opportunity for a Norris/Van Damme fight, there was still a pretty fun Van Damme/Stallone fight. Nan Yu was a pretty decent addition, though most of the time I was thinking “this seems like it should be Cynthia Rothrock here”, but I don’t even know if she’s still in the movie game to be honest, plus Nan Yu is much younger. Another change seemingly for the better is we’ve got a new director. Sylvester Stallone gave up the directing gig and Con Air director Simon West stepped in, and did a wonderful job. This movie is everything I wanted in a big picture, lots of names action movie. Lots of violence, lots of one liners, some jokes, I was hoping this movie wasn’t going to suck or be held back like the first one seemed to be but what I got was a dream of an action movie. My only other complaint is there is more than a little very obvious use of CGI, but if you give me Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting side by side in a tiny car shooting people I guess I can look past that. 80’s action fans, you must go see The Expendables 2, even if you were unimpressed with the first one, I can’t stress enough, go see this movie.

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