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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2012

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“The Expendables 2" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-november-2012-expendables-2

Synopsis

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stalone) leads a group of mercenaries for hire.  Owing a favor to Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), Barney and his team must travel to Europe to attempt to recover a safe that was lost in a plane crash.  After an opposing group ambushes them to recover the same thing, Ross and his partners must now seek revenge for a member of their group while trying to keep this dangerous cargo from falling into the wrong hands.

Specifications

  • Lionsgate Films
  • 2012, Color, rated: R, 1 hour 43 Minutes
  • Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English DTS-HD MA 7.1
  • Starring: Sylvester Stalone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis
  • Directed by Simon West
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Extreme
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

Expendables 2 wants to walk the line between being an action film and a self-aware parody of all the prior action films the cast has made before.  Some of the plot twists are very predictable to the point of being a bit ridiculous, and unfortunately the script seems to be the last thing that was worked on.  Some of the dialogue even seems to have been dubbed over by someone other than the actor that said it.

That’s not to say that the film isn’t a decent way to spend 100 minutes and just relax.  Some of the blood seems a bit over-the-top sometimes, and there certainly isn’t much logic involved in the story, but it is full of action scenes that viewers will want to see.  Trucks and trucks of enemies seem to show up only to die seconds later while our heroes keep fighting on.  It won’t win an Oscar, but it likely won’t disappoint either.

Technical

My thoughts on the video of Expendables 2 are a bit mixed.  At times the transfer is very detailed, with many of the CGI effects being clearly visible.  However most of the scenes seem to have a bit of a soft filter applied to them.  Faces are missing some of the really clear lines and textures that usually make them stand out, and Jason Statham’s hat is dull and flat when the texture should pop from the screen.  This seems to be the intent of the filmmakers, perhaps a vanity decision of actors that are past 50 and can live without every pore of their face being clear and detailed, but because of it I won’t be pulling it out for a reference picture for my friends.

The audio leaves nothing to spare however.  It seems to be the first soundtrack that fully support DTS Neo X 11.1, but I am not equipped to play back that many channels of audio.  Most people will have to make due with a DTS-HD Master Audio track with 7.1 channels that explode all around them.  I really didn’t find anything to complain about with the audio at all, as the movie sounded fantastic.

Extras

Directors Commentary, a few featurettes, deleted scenes and a gag reel.  There is also an UltraViolet copy included to watch.