Thankfully, the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack exhibits no problems at all. This mix hits all the right spots, delivering an aggressive and immersive audio experience. Based on the great soundtrack of the first film, I wasn’t surprised that this one is on the same level. With the variety of accents on display with the international cast, dialogue clarity is even more important than usual. I picked up on lines I missed during my theatrical screening (like Statham’s “Now that’s what I call Chinese takeout” upon Li’s early departure via parachute). Stallone’s rumbling, bass-heavy voice comes through with great resonance. Brian Tyler’s score is well-balanced throughout, often heard from the rear channels along with highly directional gunfire and other effects.
As for supplements, Simon West provides a fairly staid commentary. I love Stallone’s commentaries, so I was hoping that, as writer-star, he would at least be a participant. That’s not the case, and the commentary is lesser for it. But West offers some interesting information. The deleted scenes total about four minutes and are uniformly inessential. At least the gag reel has a few funny bits. “Gods of War” is a decent making-of featurette, though at 20 minutes or so it obviously pales in comparison to the first film’s feature-length Inferno. The rest of the featurettes aren’t strictly about The Expendables 2. “Big Guns, Bigger Heroes” focuses on the evolution of the action film throughout the ‘80s. “On the Assault” features Randy Couture demonstrating the real firearms seen the film. “Guns for Hire” is an interesting look at real-life private security firms that hire out mercenaries.
The Expendables 2 is the best kind of big, dumb action movie. It’s hyper-aware of its own implausibilities and sometimes too-convenient plot contrivances. The rampant in-jokes about the aging stars’ past glories (more than one famous catchphrase is repurposed) are spot-on. Stallone, West, and company are only seeking to entertain and in that regard they succeed with flying colors.