Back in September of last year, our Features Editor, Jules, posted the full review of the theatrical release of The Expendables 2. For the most part, I agree almost completely with his review of the movie and so reviewing the movie isn’t why I’m posting this today. Instead, this quick review isn’t a critique of the movie itself (since Jules has already provided that) but rather of the Blu-ray release.
Now I should point out that I didn’t see the movie when it was in theaters, and I mention that because the picture quality is grainy. Upon looking it up, that’s what the director was going for and the graininess is in the Blu-ray to preserve the theater experience. It’s worse in parts, but for the most part it isn’t a bother to me. It adds a gritty feel to the film, particularly to the action sequences and explosions (of which there’s plenty). Audio quality is decent, although I’m not a home-theater guy and so the sound was coming from my Sony Bravia’s built in speakers and not an external system.
The Blu-ray release is sporting both a digital copy and an Ultraviolet copy, which is always nice and really something that I wish all releases these days did. I love having a physical copy, but I also like not having to put the disc in when I can just access something like Vudu from my PS3 or Roku player and stream the movie from the cloud.
Where the Blu-ray release really shines though is in the special features department. There’s the standard stuff; deleted scenes, bloopers, and audio commentary with director Simon West. In addition, there are some great featurettes: “Gods of War,” “Big Guns, Bigger Heroes,” “On the Assault,” and “Guns For Hire.”
“Gods of War” features the cast talking about the movie and how everything came together with all the big actors taking a part in the film. It’s an okay feature. “Big Guns, Bigger Heroes” is the best of the special features by far, and could almost be worth the asking price by itself if it were longer. At 25 minutes, this feature is about the 1980’s and the rise of the Action genre featuring the guys starring in this film. It’s a great look at the genre and the action classics of the Reagan era.
“On the Assault” is nothing special, just Randy Couture (mostly) firing real life weapons used in the film at a range. Gun fans will enjoy it once. And finally, “Guns For Hire” is all about the real life mercenaries hired by government. This too is an interesting segment, though it doesn’t come close to be as good as the 1980’s feature.
If you’re a fan of any of the gentlemen starring in this film, over-the-top action, or you’re simply nostalgic for good old 1980’s style action, this is a Blu-ray release you will want to add to your collection (both physically and digitally).
The Expendables 2 gets a three out of five: GOOD.
* A copy of this Blu-ray was provided by the publisher for review.