The Expendables 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Since a lot of the stars of the original Expendables film are doing straight to video movies now, it’s no surprise that a sequel to the mind numbing original followed soon after. I always feel like I’m really hard on these films because there’s a small part of me that actually enjoys them. My formidable pre-teen years were spent watching Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li and other action stars kick and punch their way through various films. So in a very nostalgic way, it’s fun to see them all together on the big screen. Unfortunately, nostalgia can only carry you so far before you realize you’re watching a pretty bad film.
This time around, Barney (Stallone) and his ragtag group of mercenaries are sent to Albania after being threatened by the mysterious Church (Bruce Willis, looking bored as ever). All of the original group returns this time, without a Mickey Rourke cameo, and now they have a young Billy (Liam Hemsworth) along for the ride. Stallone returns to screenwriting duties and he follows a typical action plot where the young newcomer gets killed and the rest of the team stumble upon a harder-than-expected mission that turns to revenge somewhere along the way. We’ve seen this a doze times before in other films and if you came to an Expendables movie to complain about the plot, you’re clearly not making good choices.
The star of THE EXPENDABLES 2, as in THE EXPENDABLES 3 is the villain, played by Jean-Claude Van Damme. For me, nostalgia is almost synonymous with Van Damme, so I appreciate his inclusion along with everyone who was a teenage boy in the early 90’s. But even without my soft spot, Van Damme stole the show as the shady and ruthless villain that gives our heroes a hard time. The only complaint would be he should be on the other side of the film, fighting along with the good guys so he could have survived for the sequels.
The action sequences are on par with the original and maybe even amped up a bit. The dialogue is just as corny and eye-rolling as before and there’s not a whole lot of logic for going from plot point to plot point. It’s clear that these films aren’t interested in inventing anything new, they’re more focused on retreading old stories and focusing on having your favorite action stars of yesteryear on the big screen. It doesn’t usually work, but there is something oddly satisfying about seeing your former heroes team up.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: THE EXPENDABLES looked pretty good and THE EXPENDABLES 3 looked nice, but something doesn’t quite work with THE EXPENDABLES 2. It has a few nice moments, but it’s also a little inconsistent at times, like entire scenes skipped the upgrade process. It’s confusing since I assume the second film went through the exact same process at the exact same time as the first movie, but there is a drop in quality here. So overall, you’re going to get an improved video transfer, but it’s definitely not perfect.
Audio: The included Dolby Atmos track is a nice upgrade. These movies are loud and the audio on the 4K disc does them justice.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film and you can read our review by clicking THE EXPENDABLES 2 Blu-ray Review