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The Expendables 2 (2012) Score Review

Review: Brian Tyler is one of the best movie score composers in the business today. When I see his name attached to a project, I will buy the score outright before even seeing the movie.

It’s a rare occasion to have such an anticipation for a music score and for it to exceed, never-mind live up to my expectations.

So many modern composers just go for a tuneless noise for action movies, but Tyler always maintains a theme tune and The Expendables 1 & 2 are perfect examples of why he is such a talent. He has created action scores which are bombastic, exciting and yet tuneful which is a rare gift.

I consider Brian Tyler this generation’s Jerry Goldsmith as he has followed in his footsteps by providing the music to Rambo 2008 and the new Universal Studios logo music.

I am pleased to say that The Expendables 2 keeps all of the familiar themes/cues from the original movie while creating an all new shot of adrenaline. Our main heroes theme appears on several tracks, including “The Expendables Return” and “Escape”.

The use of a full orchestra always helps to create a grander sense of scale, which is hardly ever achieved through electronic scores.

The Expendables music hearkens back to the golden age of film scores where movies would have the Wagnerian leitmotif and characters/events would have certain theme tunes.

What I love most about The Expendables music is the noble quality to the main theme, but it also has a hint of sadness to it. The heroes are of a bygone era and they’re trying to find their place in today’s world. The music captures this perfectly with the quieter moments and then (like Goldsmith’s Rambo) the theme can be transformed into heroic bombast.

Upon listening to the full score for Ex-2, I couldn’t believe how quickly it was over so I suggest listening to both Expendables scores one after the other for full effect.

Overall, I can safely say that The Expendables 2 score is the best action movie score of 2012 and essential to anyone who loves action movie music.


1. The Expendables Return 4:40
2. Fists, Knives And Chains 3:05
3. Track ‘Em, Find ‘Em, Kill ‘Em 4:54
4. Makin 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
Total Album Time: