JUSTIN HALL AT THE MOVIES
The Expendables 3 continues the franchise featuring all of the well-known action movie icons of the ’80s and ’90s in an attempt to recapture their glory days. I thought the first movie was average, the second movie was actually better-than-average, but the third movie falls by the wayside and like so many action movies, it gets shot at and blown up, but it never really dies.
Sylvester Stallone returns as Barney Ross, the head of the Expendables who’s back with his old comrades in another movie with the following: shootouts, explosions, one-liners, repeat. Joining him for this third installment are old-and-new school veterans including Jason Statham and Dolph Lundgren.
The first two movies gave us everyone from Chuck Norris to Stone Cold Steve Austin and just about every other action hero in between. This one gives us the likes of Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes who gives one of the few funny one-liners in the film when he’s asked why his character was in prison for so long. Snipes’ response: “Tax evasion.”
As for the plot (like it really matters), the Expendables go up against one of their former members. Perhaps one of the most awkward-sounding names ever for a villain, Mel Gibson stars as Conrad Stonebanks who’s now become a deadly arms dealer bent on world domination. Gibson tries to have his moments, but his charismatic presence is really underutilized.
In addition to Gibson, Banderas, and Snipes, The Expendables 3 also gives us a returning Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford as both a replacement and an upgrade from Bruce Willis.
One of the best things I can say about the Expendables series is that every actor involved is in on the joke and knows when they are entering into preposterous territory. I imagine if Michael Bay was behind this, there wouldn’t be any kind of film at all.
However, this movie felt completely bankrupt for most of its time. One thing that might disappoint fans of the first two is the PG-13 rating whereas the first two were rated R. I would’ve preferred an R rating for this one, not for obvious reasons, but instead for keeping in the style and tone of what these movies are.
Other problems are that it’s bland and predictable with an inconsequential plot, repetitive action scenes, and dull one-liners that the guys think is a lot funnier than we do. Plus, none of these characters are really put into any kind of legitimate jeopardy. Nothing bad ever happens to any character unless the screenplay requires it.
his latest entry felt tired and I think there’s only so much coolness to be found in the notion of these Hollywood tough guys trying to relive their golden days. I think Stallone and company should take their retirement from this series and move on.
Movie Review The Expendables 3 (Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes and for language.)
Until next time, White County, this is Justin Hall saying I’ll see you AT THE MOVIES!
This review is dedicated to the memory of Robin Williams.