The Expendables 3 (2014)
On what they expected to be a pretty routine mission Barney (Sylvester Stallone), Christmas (Jason Statham) and the rest of the Expendables gang come face-to-face with an unexpected foe, Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). Stonebanks co-founded The Expendables with Barney but when rogue. Barney and everyone else for that matter thought he was dead. Instead he has become a notorious black market arms dealer to all the wrong people. Barney knows he can’t bring his team on his next mission so he cuts them loose and recruits some new blood to help him take down Stonebanks once and for all. Starring Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Glen Powell, Antonio Banderas, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, Kellen Lutz, Jet Li.
The Expendables 3, with its star studded cast, is a throw back to the old style action flicks. Not surprising given its aging cast. However, the film falls blatantly short of using that cast to its fullest potential leaving a mediocre film that relies to much on the action to be anything great.
Now, don’t get me wrong I love action flicks and this one has it in abundance. The whole end of the movie is nonstop, jam-packed action. The action scenes are all pretty slick and stylized not rough or gritty. It was certainly a style choice on the part of Stallone but I can see why he went that direction because it works what his film is trying to be – a blending of the old and the new. When it’s all said and done though a great action flick has characters you care about. Villains that are so evil you want to hop up on-screen and give them what for. Mel Gibson can play quite the bad guy when he wants to but it felt like there was something missing here to really make you hate him. He was too charming.
As for the rest of it, the story didn’t give any one character much of anything to do. Except Wesley Snipes at the beginning who gets to pull some pretty cool stunts. Sure they all work as a team but where is the wow? Where is the “ooo” and “ahhh” factor that the first film had. I wanted to be impressed by something but instead I kept getting a feeling of de ja vu. On top of it all you know these seasoned actors have the ability to be funny, quirky and charming on-screen, yet that really isn’t there. You get glimpses of it with Ford and with the interaction between Stallone and Statham but it needed more to make the whole film shine.
All said and done it isn’t a bad movie it just isn’t a wow one. Good action and a few entertaining lines don’t make for a great film and a veteran like Stallone should know that.
6/10 Stars – Not bad but same old same old…no pun intended.
So if you’ve read my reviews on the first and second Expendables, you know I like these movies. I’m a guy and when it comes to lots of action and destruction, I don’t need a good story, I just need thrills! The 3rd Expendables movie fits in just well with the other 2 and Stallone keeps the action coming. I can’t complain with the nature of the action or the characters. In fact, I liked the parts and screen time the new actors got. Mel Gibson reminded me of crazy Martin Riggs (if he decided to go bad) and Wesley Snipes becomes part of the crew. I would have liked to see more action from Harrison Ford, but I’m glad he wasn’t just a guy in a suit. Antonio Banderas reminded me of Jar-Jar Binks, but who cares. I was even impressed with Kelsey Grammar’s screen time…
I have to admit that I didn’t know any of the “new class” and I’m sure they are all MMA fighters, but they worked well and made things fresh. I’m not sure why critics dogged this movie for being boring because I was pretty entertained, and that’s why we go to the movies after all. I’m sad to hear about how the internet piracy is causing the 4th movie to be in jeopardy, but with the names I have heard thrown around, I hope these keep coming. I like them, and have a lot of fun watching.
8/10 Stars – More of the same from new and old faces. Tons of action and tons of fun!