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The Expendables 2
2012 Lionsgate

2012 Silva Screen

Composed, Co-Conducted, and Produced by:
Brian Tyler

Co-Conducted by:
Alan Wilson
Marian Turner

Orchestrated by:
Dana Niu
Robert Lydecker
Tony Morales
Sarah Schachner

Performed by:
The Slovakia National Symphony Orchestra

Labels and Dates:
Lionsgate Records
(August 14th, 2012)

Silva Screen Records
(September 25th, 2012)

Also See:
The Expendables
The Expendables 3
Eagle Eye
Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem

Audio Clips:
1. The Expendables Return (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

4. Making an Entrance (0:29):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

5. Respect (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

12. Vilain (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular commercial release, initially available from Lionsgate in America only as an iTunes digital product. The European CD album from Silva Screen was released five weeks later. The musical contents of these albums are identical.


The Expendables 2
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Buy it... if you seek yet another predictably workmanlike, three-star effort from Brian Tyler, whose career in the action genre has become defined by entertaining music that is as reliable as it is anonymous.

Avoid it... if you expect a continued presence of the previous score's majestic, choral-aided sequences of thematic bravado, the same identities present in the sequel but not expressed with the same obvious grandeur.

The Expendables 2: (Brian Tyler) Anytime the production of an action movie leaves a trail of carnage that includes dead stunt men and complaints about environmental devastation in remote regions, you know there's a good chance for entertainment from the finished product. While Sylvester Stallone did not direct this, the sequel to 2010's The Expendables, he remained its figurehead and lead actor, assisting to collect another phenomenal ensemble cast of past action stars featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This group chases about the world on government and personal missions, seeking revenge for fallen comrades and possession of Soviet-era plutonium. The formula of senseless explosions and even more senseless humor was once again a winner for the franchise, the self-deprecating laughs, often involving the history of each actor in other roles, an especially worthy attraction. Critics appreciated this stream of funnies, though most agreed that the overall premise is, as one might expect, lacking much intellectual merit. Indeed, a stunt man did die and another was maimed while The Expendables 2 was shot in Bulgaria, leading to a wrongful death lawsuit. In the process of filming in a cave in that country, the production apparently killed protected shrubberies and the majority of the native bat population, too, causing fines and condemnation from an outraged Bulgarian government. Not to be daunted by such trifles, Stallone and crew immediately began planning a second sequel in the franchise as the 2012 entry hauled in massive returns, leading to speculation about which of yesteryear's action heroes were next in line for resurrection. Composer Brian Tyler continued a collaboration with Stallone for The Expendables that had resulted after the actor-director's approval of the score for Rambo a couple of years earlier. The resulting music for the 2010 flick was a comfortable fit with the purpose of the production, raising traditional orchestral action techniques while enjoying an infusion of Tyler's occasionally more modern, bad-ass elements. Although absolutely relentless in its bombastic force and unyielding rhythmic propulsion, the music for The Expendables was a surprisingly intelligent throwback to a previous era of action scores, occasionally exposing Tyler's lingering affinity for the mannerisms of Jerry Goldsmith. For The Expendables 2, the formula is, not unexpectedly, mostly the same.

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Collectors of Tyler's action music will recognize that the composer has a definite ability to breeze through these kinds of action romps without much need to deviate within his style. In the case of scores like Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem and Eagle Eye, the results can be more interesting than expected, though he also has proven himself capable of blasting through such assignments on auto-pilot or in emulation of the Hans Zimmer/Remote Control domination of the genre, as heard in Battle: Los Angeles and parts of his sequel scores to The Fast and the Furious. In this regard, his music for The Expendables 2 and its predecessor is closer to the former category, remaining true to those echoes of Goldsmith and the emphasis of orchestral might over synthetic drones. The ensemble is varied enough to give both the brass and percussion sections outstanding workouts, the latter a normal specialty of Tyler. While the strings are sometimes buried in the mix, they are afforded a variety of performance techniques to keep them busy, especially the violins. There is electronic accompaniment to most cues, it seems, but Tyler is careful to utilize these elements like a supporting fifth section of the orchestra, the pre-records rarely obnoxious outside of some Battleship-inspired electronic grinding in the bass during a few cues. Thematically, there's nothing in this franchise to solicit greater study, though fans will appreciate Tyler's clear continuity between the scores. The primary rising, four-note theme is almost immediately reprised in "The Expendables Return" and developed throughout the work, eventually becoming a longer-lined expression of greater emotional depth. When explored in these passages, the theme strays from its inherent 1990's Goldsmith format and enters Tyler's familiar power anthem territory. A secondary motif of menacing simplicity for Van Damme and his evil gang stomps its way through "Track 'Em, Find 'Em, Kill 'Em," "Respect," and "Vilain." The eruptions of theme in The Expendables 2 aren't quite as enjoyable this time around, in part because Tyler doesn't attempt to provide melodic interludes of any great length in the work. Also to consider is the fact that the choir has been dumped from the sequel score, a substantial amount of the majesty applied to such moments in the prior work now absent. As an overall listening experience on album, The Expendables 2 is a worthy extension of the straight action portions of the 2010 score (with few breathers), and thankfully the album length has been shortened to limit sonic exhaustion. This is yet another predictably workmanlike, three-star effort from Tyler, whose career in the action genre has become defined by entertaining music that is as reliable as it is anonymous. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Brian Tyler reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.28 (in 26 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.06 (in 13,568 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.2 Stars
Smart Average: 3.16 Stars*
***** 53 
**** 64 
*** 61 
** 42 
* 38 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Re: I really like this one
  Edmund Meinerts -- 10/1/12 (1:52 a.m.)
   I really like this one
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 56:45

• 1. The Expendables Return (4:40)
• 2. Fists, Knives and Chains (3:05)
• 3. Track 'Em, Find 'Em, Kill 'Em (4:54)
• 4. Making an Entrance (4:08)
• 5. Respect (3:58)
• 6. Rest in Pieces (2:55)
• 7. Preparations (3:15)
• 8. Party Crashers (5:19)
• 9. Rescue (4:43)
• 10. Countdown (4:25)
• 11. Bad Way to Live (3:41)
• 12. Vilain (2:42)
• 13. Dueling Blades (4:32)
• 14. Escape (4:28)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert of neither album includes extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Expendables 2 are Copyright © 2012, Lionsgate Records (America), Silva Screen Records (Europe). The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/20/12 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2012-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.