The Expendables 3 Review

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By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)



Many people recall the action films of the 80’s and early 90’s with great fondness. This as the time of the great action superstar with actors like Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal…. the list goes on. But the world’s population became more sophisticated and one man wrecking machines taking down entire armies became less and less believable, leading to such actors more and more fizzling out and their way of film become things of legend. That was until Stallone decided it was time to bring it back, getting as many old action stars together and doing what it was they were known for. First was the Expendables, then the Expendables 2, and now, ladies and gentlemen, the Expendables 3.

The Expendables used to be a bigger team. But over the years, and many dangerous missions, many members have died. Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) is one of the few originals remaining, and he finds an opportunity to rescue another former member, Doc (Wesley Snipes) along the way. But when it’s found out that a former member they believed to be killed, Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) is still alive and now an illegal arms dealer, the Expendables need to take them out. But this is going to be on of their hardest missions to date, and with the team aging, Barney decides the time for the current crew is over, officially putting Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner (Dolph Lundgren) and Toll (Randy Couture) on the bench for a new, younger team, plus one very nimble and gun-ho older member named Galgo (Antonio Banderas). But will the new team be able to mesh in time, and have the skills needed to take down Conrad, or will the new Expendables go extinct before they are even known?

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The Expendables 3 is more of the same from the previous films. Staying true to the 80’s/90’s form, the plot element is basic at best, just enough to provide a reason for huge gun fights and non-stop action. There’s a bad guy, he wants to do bad things, he needs to be stopped and it’s personal to Barney. There’s your plot. Stallone, again, hands over the directing duties to Patrick Hughes, who is fairly new in terms of big screen production. But Hughes provides ample visuals for the big action sequences, giving us different shots to experiences the scenes from, some making the action seem more harrowing than it probably is. Plus there are a plethora of characters this time around, and everyone needs to get some screen time considering you know EVERYONE, so the action is enough to make even Michael Bay think he’s not doing enough in his films.

To talk about the acting would take far too much time as there are just too many actors that everyone recognizes. Needless to say, all of the “veteran” actors from the previous films reprise their roles and are the same as they always are. No better, no worse. Of the “new” actors to the film, the only one that deserves mentioning in terms of delivering some sort of memorable performance is Antonio Banderas. His character is hilarious in his own right, so full of energy and a desire to do a great job. He’s almost like that little small dog bounce all around the car, barking at everything that you just wish would shut up but it’s kind of adorable that you like it. You know what I’m talking about? Well, that’s Banderas except he’s not a little yippy dog and you do like him. On the other side of the spectrum, why they brought Ronda Rousey (current UFC women’s champion) to the film is beyond me. She definitely shouldn’t quit her day job and, please, never act again. Absolutely horrendous. But again, this film isn’t about great character arcs or character development, nor about the intricate relationships between each other, it’s about killing people and blowing things up. Period.

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For those who plan on watching The Expendables 3, you know exactly what they are in for. This type of film has a specific target audience and that audience will be filling the seats on the weekend. If you’re not into films with a lack of story, bad dialogue, mediocre (at best) acting, unbelievable action sequences (and I mean unbelievable, the type of unbelievable that would never happen in this reality), huge explosions, high body counts or the beauty of Dolph Lundgren, then you may want to skip this one and see just about anything else currently in theaters. But for those who don’t mind the aforementioned list, you’ll probably be entertained for about two hours of your life. Again, this latest installment is more of the same. Not breaking any new ground which, in the long run, makes the film expendable.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


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