The Expendables 3

Posted August 15, 2014 by in


Total Score

3/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: action
Director: Patrick Hughes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
Length: 126 minutes
Release Date: 8/15/2014
Studio: Nu Image / Millennium Films, Davis-Films, Ex3 Productions, Fipex Holding, Millennium Films, Nu Image Films
What We Thought

With The Expendables 3, the big summer movies of 2014 go out not with a bang, or a whimper, but something in between.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
The Expendables franchise is about one thing:  nostalgia.  It’s about seeing action stars of the 80’s and 90’s doing their thing.  Why then make The Expendables 3 PG-13, and open up the movie to kids who won’t know or care who Dolph Lundgren is?
     The PG-13 rating of Expendables 3 hurts the film’s purpose:  action.  There’s barely a drop of blood in this third installment of the franchise.  It’s violence without consequence, carnage without actual bodily harm.  The movies that inspired this film were made before PG-13 took over cinema, and Expendables 3 is unfaithful to the spirit of the era that inspired it.
     Stallone.  Schwarzenegger.  Snipes.  These guys kicked ass.  There’s no denying that.  Now they’re older, grayer, and they know it.  The Expendables 3 is about passing on the torch to a new generation of action stars.
     Stallone reprises his role as Barney Ross, leader of the Expendables—a group of mercenaries employed by the government, sent in to where it’s too dirty or dangerous for official operations.  After rescuing Doc (Wesley Snipes, in a scene-stealing role), a veteran Expendable merc captured and held in prison for 8 years, the Expendables head to Mogadishu, Somalia, on a routine assignment:  kill an arms dealer who’s selling to real bad people.  However, the mark turns out to be Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), a ghost of Barney’s past.  Stonebanks wounds one of Barney’s teammates, and gets away.
     Barney wants payback, but doesn’t want to lose old friends to Stonebank and his men.  Barney tells the few remaining Expendables that their mercenary days are over.  The middle section of The Expendables 3 follows Barney as he recruits new, younger blood for his payback mission, which is followed by a Mission Impossible-esque infiltration sequence.
     The special effects are decent, but not as good as some of this summer’s entries, such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  The fight choreography is good, and gives Expendables 3 newcomer Snipes his chance to shine.  Ronda Rousey adds sex appeal to the cast, and she can mix-it-up with the best of her male counterparts, but if she wants to be an action star, she needs to look into an acting workshop or two (or three).
     The action scenes aren’t so much exciting as they are just entertaining.  The cast is too large, much too large, and the movie feels twenty minutes too long (although it’s a short film next to Transformers 4, geez…).  Antonio Bandaras adds comic relief, but slows the movie down.  Snipes doesn’t figure into the plot the way he should, but the plot is nonsense to begin with.  Expendables 3 is not something to think about.  It’s just an excuse to blow shit up.
     With The Expendables 3, the big summer movies of 2014 go out not with a bang, or a whimper, but something in between.  It’s watchable, but this summer’s best action movie has already come and gone.  You know which one I’m talking about…

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


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