Expendables 2, The

Featured In Issue 172, December 2012

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Strong bloody viiolence throughout
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Simon West
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DTS Neo:X 11.1 Lossless, DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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"The Expendables 2" is the sequel to "The Expendables" and features a rogue team of misfits lead by Sylvester Stallone. The team signs on for a mission that looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school mercenaries. But things go wrong fast and one of their own is killed by a psychotic terrorist for hire. Hell-bent on payback, they cut a swath of destruction through enemy territory and wreak havoc upon their opponents. In the midst of the mayhem, they must also hunt down an unexpected threat in the nick of time—and prevent five tons of weapons-grade plutonium from falling into the wrong hands. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Simon West; four featurettes: "Gods Of War: Assembling Earth's Mightiest Anti-Heroes" (HD 21:19), "Big Guns, Bigger Heroes: The 108's And The Rise Of The American Action Film" (HD 24:59), "On The Assult: The Real-Life Weaponry Of The Expendables" (HD 13:36), and "Guns For Hire: The Real Expendables" (HD 24:19); five deleted scenes (HD 04:39; a gag reel (HD 05:09); upfront previews; diagrams showing DTS Neo:X, Neo:X 11.1 sound check, DTS HD MA 7.1 and 5.1 sound checks; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 1080p AVC picture is superb! Resolution is outstanding, with nuanced detail evident in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture throughout. Such exquisite detail dramatically enhances the visual dynamics. The color palette is never exaggerated with natural warm and rich hues. Primaries are just strong enough to contrast with the otherwise gray/blue stylization. Fleshtones retain a natural tone. Contrast is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. This is an engaging visual experience that will not disappoint. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is a real energizer, with wonderful Foley effects perfectly synchronized with the intense action. The soundfield vacillates between nuanced intimacy and full-blown immersive impact. Atmospherics and sound effects are effectively directionalized and enveloping. The .1 LFE is quite active and intensifies the battle scenes and bolsters the deep bass region of sub-25 Hz frequencies. The music score drives the storytelling with a mixture of big orchestral scoring and pop. The sound is expansive across the soundstage and extends aggressively to the surrounds. Dialogue, though, is largely ADR and wanting in spatial integration. This is a terrific holosonic® soundtrack experience that impresses with excitement, dynamics, and aggressive surround. The added two channels are positioned as in the Dolby® Surround theatrical position at the rear. The encoding is optimized for those with DTS Neo:X 11.1 systems. (Gary Reber)