A Macho Film That’s Not At Its Finest | Review of ‘The Expendables 3’

By: Cynthia Ayala

The third installment in the Expendables film franchise has an amazing cast full of iconic actions stars, but fails to impress with its rehash of a story that has already been told.

Directed by: Patrick Hughes

Screenplay by: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt & Sylvester Stallone

Story by: Sylvester Stallone

Based on Characters by David Callaham

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Robert Davi, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford & Arnold Schwarzenegger

Genre: Action, Adventure

In ‘The Expendables 3,’ Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

Courtesy of movie | fone

This movie certainly took an unexpected turn. While this movie was entertaining, it was incredibly reminiscent of its predecessor. Let’s take a moment to look back at the franchise. The first movie introduces the Expendables as a group of mercenaries employed by the government, under the radar, to do the jobs that have to stay off the books. These guys are the bests of the bests who have nothing to lose. Okay, the second movie is all about revenge, redemption, taking down the bad guy who took down of their own, a kid compared to the rest of the team. The third film…does the same thing. Enter Mel Gibson – who was remarkable – former member of the team who went dark and lost his moral scruples, a person long thought dead, who takes a shot at Terry Crews. This somehow inspires Stallone to drop his team because he cares too much about them and goes in hunt of a younger team, kids who are expendable to him to go with him on his revenge trip.

Now that doesn’t really sit with who his character is, what the first two films have established as his character. It was used as a clutch to bring in younger members to the team and have the veteran members swoop in and save the day.

Really Stallone? Any writer knows that Stallone has a gift when it comes to writing, but for him to spit this out, it’s very disappointing. At least his ability to write humor hasn’t failed him yet.

This movie is a rehash, however unintentional, of the second film. Of course there are some differences, but overall, the fundamentals established in the previous films have gotten lost. Yes, there is a lot of heart to this film, there is no doubt about that, but the extremes that this movie went to in order to bring audiences heart pounding action did not save the film from the lacking story progression.

Nevertheless, what did save this film were the performances. Wesley Snipes was a great addition to the team alongside Antonio Banderas. Their characters were funny and charismatic. Both are skilled actors and fighters and it would have benefitted the film, the characters and the actors if some of the fight sequences has showcased some of their talent. After all we have Blade and Zorro in the film! But all viewers got was gun fight after gun fight. For shame.

However, the cast was still great. The strong dynamics were there and there was the natural progression of character development between the characters. This cast, their acting and the humor in the film were the saving graces.

However, the biggest fault with this movie is that there was no He-Man joke for Dolph Lundgren. That is simply unforgivable. ★★☆☆ (C +)

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