What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Expendables 2 has even more legendary action stars -- and is quite a bit better -- than The Expendables, so expect boys of all ages to be clamoring to see it. The violence is strong and constant but slightly less nasty than in the first film. Overall the feel is cartoonish, although the characters are motivated by revenge, and there's lots of killing (and fighting, spurting blood, and dead bodies) with no consequences. Language isn't nearly as strong as in the last movie (supposedly due to co-star Chuck Norris' objections) but does include about a half-dozen uses of "s--t." There's some love talk and flirting and a discussion of cheating, but most of the sexual content is mild. A character with a history of chemical dependence takes a drink from a flask from time to time but never appears drunk; some of the main characters smoke cigars. On the plus side, there's a strong female character this time around, in addition to many other improvements.
  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How did it affect you? What impact did it have?
  • Is this sequel more or less violent than its predecessor? What expectations do you think audiences/fans had after the first movie? What's the appeal of these action heroes, whose careers range over several decades?
  • Is Maggie a female role model? Does she present an unrealistic body image?
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