run time: 126 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Thriller
director: Patrick Hughes
starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Glen Powell, Antonio Banderas, Victor Ortiz, Rhonda Rousey, Kellan Lutz, Jet Li
movie summary: The last time we hung out with Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his Expendables crew, they had just taken down a really bad guy for killing one of their crew. Fast forward to the present day where The Expendables are now taking jobs from Drummer (Harrison Ford), a CIA operative who contracts Barney and the guys for “off the books” jobs. When their mission to capture an arms dealer named Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) goes horribly wrong and a member of The Expendables gets gunned down, Barney decides to take matters into his own hands to bring down his former best friend and Expendables co-finder.
While the crew gather in the hospital to show support for their best friend while he clings to life, Barney calls a meeting at their bar hang out where he gets into an argument with Lee Christmas (Jason Statham). He wants to disband the group so he can go after Stonebanks by himself. Lee stands up for the rest of the guys to tell him he won’t succeed without him and it would be a suicide mission he went at it alone. Barney shrugs him off and heads to Mexico to meet his old friend Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer) who works for the government training super rogue soldiers. The pair travel around North America recruiting a whole new team of Expendables, the only qualification is they need to be young, smart, and willing to risk their life. Barney begins to pick out the best candidates he meets which turn out to be Thorn (Glen Powell), Mars (Victor Ortiz), Luna (Rhonda Rousey), and Smilee (Kellen Lutz). They meet up with Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to get briefed about the mission and get loaded up with all the toys, ammunition, and weapons they will need.
The plan is capture Stonebanks at one of his art galleries where he is about to have a weapons exchange. These young new Expendables lay out a plan of attack and use new gadgets to break into the galleries security systems allowing the team easy access to the deal. Barney is impressed with their plan which goes off without a hitch. Stonebanks is drugged, bagged, and dragged away in a van. When he wakes up confronts Barney in front of everyone telling them all why he left the group and the only way to be extremely rich and powerful is to become ruthless. He activates a GPS tracker on his watch which signals to his personal army to come and get him. Barney tries his best to prevent the rescue operation but is thrown off a bridge when his team of young Expendables is captured. Hours later when Barney washes up on the shore down river he manages to escape another capture attempt before making it back to the plane to meet with Trench. When the pair touchdown back at Barney’s hangar he is greeted by Galgo (Antonio Banderas), a crazy solider who offers up his services to help take Stonebanks down. Barney is reluctant at first but with no one else to help he has no choice.
Drummer calls to inform Barney if he wants to go after Stonebanks he’s all alone with no government help. He knows this mission is a one way ticket and that he only has Galgo at his side. When they board the plane and begin to taxi down the runaway Barney is surprised to see the other Expendables blocking his path. Lee along with Doc (Wesley Snipes), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), and Toll Road (Randy Couture) are decked out in their combat uniforms armed with their guns ready to go to war. Barney picks them up and the five head to the building where the young Expendables are being held hostage to rescue them.
my thoughts: It’s been two days since I went to see Expendables 3 and all day I tried to remember the parts that stood out to me and my overall thoughts of the movie. I feel bad saying this but Expendables 3 was only made to add to its stars already bloated movie resumes while giving them a chance to fire three millions bullets at each other on top of blowing stuff up. Expendables 1 and 2 came out over the last four years and having only seen them once a piece I can say I vaguely remember them either. Most of these guys are way too old to be in engaging in fist fights, running from explosions, and acting like they were in the 1980s. Don’t get me wrong, this movie isn’t the worst movie I’ve seen in 2014 but it is far from one of the better ones.
Sylvester Stallone is 68 years old, if you don’t believe me go look it up. At that age most actors/actresses take on roles that fit their age group and are for target audiences…like Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, and Morgan Freeman. Stallone instead continues to march on thinking he’s invincible and can still act with the young ones. He showed his age during many parts of this movie despite the fact he is the star of it. I still laugh to this day that he managed to go toe to toe with Jean-Claude Van Damme in Expendables 2 and wasn’t surprised to see him battle it out with 58-year-old Mel Gibson. There is a moment towards the end of the movie with Stallone gets that look in his eye that there many a passing of the torch in the near future, but sadly that would require yet another Expendable movie.
Gibson is actually spot on as the ruthless power-hungry bad guy. It’s been a while since Gibson actually had a decent role in a movie and doesn’t disappoint in a movie where his name is way down at the bottom of an all-star line up. Gibson shows us that he still has the ability pull off a psycho character and make it appear to be so real. I know he’s had his issues on and off camera but this could be the shot his career needs to get a few more roles before it’s time to hang them up.
My favourite Expendable character and actor is Jason Stratham, he is young with a reputation of kicking ass in so many other movies that he is the perfect guy to be second in command. Terry Crews brings muscles and the passion to fire the biggest gun he can get his hands on. Dolph Lundgren is around because he’s still suffering from the loss in Rocky IV, but provides audiences with another psycho mentality who is willing to kill any and everything. Randy Couture is another muscle guy that actually brings some brains to the operation. Wesley Snipes is the new/old guy of the group that brings a comedic personality to an other wise stiff group of guys. Antonio Banderas is a great addition to the group for his abilities but spends the majority of his scenes talking everyone’s ears off which totally ruins his character. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a small role in the film, given his age and acting abilities these days he just stands behind a mounted machine gun and shoots anything that moves. Harrison Ford is the man behind the desk at a high government office and shows us that when lives are on the line he still has the skills to contribute to the mission.
The new guys/girl to the group are led by Kellen Lutz, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, and Rhonda Rousey. They are new blood with fresh new ideas to fight global terrorism and come equipped with toys and gadgets that the old school guys get jealous of. Should Stallone and the studio decide to make a fourth installment of this franchise, I hope all four of these new faces return to accept a passing of the torch kind of story because they are all worthy candidates.
The worse part of the movie is none of the actors but the writer’s attempt to squeeze as many bullets and action sequences into a movie. This two-hour and six-minute movie was about 30 minutes longer then it really needed to be.
my final thoughts: Expendables 3 is definitely a guy’s movie. It has everything a guy could dream of in a movie except gorgeous looking girls. There are bullets, bombs, explosions, funny one-liners, and non-stop action. Stallone and company would love for you to go see it tonight and pay full price but the fact it doesn’t stand out from the others, you could wait for a cheap day to go see it and you won’t be missing anything.
my star rating: 5 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 35% out 100%
rogerebert.com: 3 out 4