'Expendables 2' DVD: Senseless Fun With The Senior Set
The sequel to 2010’s The Expendables is, in its simplest form, a continued celebration of past and present action film bad-asses, regardless of how old said bad-asses have become. It simultaneously lauds and jabs at the endurance of the actors made famous in in the 80s and early 90s, and doesn’t take itself too seriously (i.e. during the film’s climax, Arnold Schwarzenegger rehashes a famous Terminator zinger – can you guess which one?). It’s good old senseless fun.
The film boasts the best of the best: Sylvester Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris and Jason Statham, just to name a few. The Expendables 2 follows the team, plus two newcomers – Liam Hemsworth and the only female member Yu Nan – on a mission to prevent a madman (played by Jean-Claude Van Damme) from acquiring and selling a deadly amount of plutonium. The big names, big sets, and even bigger explosions are the stuff every action junkie dreams of, but the unoriginality fails to make very much of an impact or contribution to the genre.
Despite these flaws, Expendables 2 is one of those cases where the DVD extras actually exceed the film in terms of entertainment value. Along with a digital and ultraviolet copy, the DVD comes with an assortment of features and short documentaries – audio commentary with director Simon West; “Gods of War: Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Antiheroes,” which compares the first Expendables’ shortcomings to the improvements of the second and discusses the production and difficulties amassing the ensemble of all ensemble casts; “Big Guns, Bigger Heroes: The 1980s and the Rise of the Action Film,” which explores the socio-political and cultural influences on 80s action/adventure flicks; “On The Assault: The Real-Life Weaponry of The Expendables”; “Guns For Hire: The Real Expendables,” which offers a compelling look into the government’s real-life expendables; and a variety of deleted scenes and a gag reel. The gag reel also features tennis pro Novak Djokovic delivering a well-choreographed racket beat-down to the bad guys. The scene was cut from the original version.
The DVD, released November 20, will satisfy any action enthusiast’s need for grand explosions, easily dispatched targets, and beefy, timeworn guys toting guns. Diehard fans of the first film should be thrilled.