I have to say, first off, that I liked the first The Expendables. I thought it was a pretty good movie. It was a pretty serious movie, dealing with a rather serious if also far-fetched situation. The guys on the team were rather human, not necessarily the typical action heroes, and a bit messed up.
If that movie had one big problem, it was that it wasn't overly fun. It was serious, and seemed to want to be fairly realistic.
I'm glad to say, The Expendables 2 is neither of those things. It has serious moments, but right from the first the overall mood of the team is different. The vehicles they drive into the town/complex right at the movie's start have phrases emblazoned on them. Realism also gets a quick boot out the door, and the people both good and bad are larger-than-life.
Most reviews I've seen or heard about this movie have been rather negative and unimpressed. I understand that, but for my part, I enjoyed it heartily, and recommend it as a fun movie. Yeah, suspend your disbelief, don't expect the best acting in the world, but overall, I think it works for what it is.
Look, consider the one scene in the first movie that has Stallone, Willis, and Schwartzneggar together. It was only one scene, and all they did was talk to each other. True, it was "tough guy" talk, but still, that's all it was.
For the average movie watcher, if you're going to have guys like Stallone, Willis, Schwarzneggar in the same movie, not to mention Statham, Li, and even Norris for the second movie, then what do we want? Yeah, the tough guy talk is fine, but we want Stallone, Willis, and Schwarzneggar side by side by side, guns blazing, bad guys being mowed down before them! We want Chuck Norris taking out bad guys and telling Chuck Norris jokes. We want Statham hacking and slashing through the bad guys. Having Jean-Claude van Damme as a very convincing, slimy bad guy only adds to it all.
A bit more Jet Li would have been nice, but his character is only in the first 15 or so minutes of the movie.
Over all, this movie delivers. It ain't great, it ain't a classic, but it's fun.