Possible spoilers ahead!
Poor Sylvester Stallone. He finally makes a good Expendables movie, and nobody wants to see it. What a shame, because “The Expendables 3″ is probably the best instalment in the series.
Mind you, I’m not saying “The Expendables 3″ is a masterpiece. Right of the bat you’re saying to yourself “Oh come on.” The opening mission involves a helicopter, a speeding locomotive and the first of many unnecessary explosions.
The situation is this: The Expendables’ ranks have taken a beating of late, and so Barney (Sylvester Stallone) decides to stage a prison break and bring back one of the gang’s founding members, Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes), who’s in prison for what he calls “tax evasion.” Hahahahaha, get it?
Anywho, the Expendables need Blade for a mission in Somalia. However, things go bad when Barney’s former teammate turned villain Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), slips through their clutches, gravely wounding weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) in the process.
Barney realizes he cares too much for his teammates Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) Toll Road (Randy Couture), and Lee Christmas (Jason Statham).
He doesn’t want to keep risking their lives like this, so Barney ditches them in favor of a younger, fresher crew of Expendables. They’re played by Kellan Lutz, Glen Powell, boxing champion Victor Ortiz. But the highlight of the new crew is mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey. She handles the action well and isn’t stuck on the sidelines which was nice to see.
Out of the new cast addition, Kelsey Grammer was really funny as a mercenary who helps Barney find his new recruits. But by far the one who stole the movie was Antonio Banderas as Galgo, a former member of the Spanish Armed Forces.
This may be Antonio’s best part since the first Zorro movie back in 1998. But because it’s in “The Expendables 3,” it probably won’t get the attention it deserves.
The Expendable movies aren’t supposed to be Academy Award winners. They’re not even supposed to be great action movies. The filmmakers know this, and they poke fun at themselves. Director Patrick Hughes did exactly what he was hired to do: Deliver a film full of action and light on story. “The Expendables 3″ script is loaded with cheesy one liners, and ridiculous dialogue. But you know what? It’s funny.
it’s fun to watch Mel Gibson chew up the scenery as the film’s main villain. It’s also fun to see Sly Stallone leap from a collapsing building to a helicopter. It’s even fun to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bromance with Jet Li.
The Sylvester Stallone directed “The Expendables” (2010) grossed an impressive $103 million domestically. its 2012 follow-up, directed by Simon West, took a hit domestically ($85 million) but made up the difference internationally. So what happened with “The Expendables 3″? Well, perhaps the millions of illegal downloads kept people at home, or franchise fatigue has set in.
Whatever the case may be, I really enjoyed “The Expendables 3.” I laughed, rolled my eyes at times, but in the end I was entertained. What more can I ask for?
“The Expendables 3″ final score: 7