Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Expendables 3 (2014)

The third Expendables film is a bit of a mixed bag, though pretty satisfying in the end.  The regular crew is back (some with more screen time than others), this time joined by Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas and four new recruits played by Kellan Lutz, MMA star Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell and Victor Ortiz.  They're matched up against a former member and co-founder of the team, Conrad Stonebanks, played rather well by Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger are also on hand lending help to the team.

After one of their own is gravely wounded in battle by Stonebanks, Ross (Sylvester Stallone) disbands the current team and recruits the aforementioned four new recruits in an effort to take his former partner down.  Things go sour and the newbies are captured, which brings the original team back into the fold for an epic finale.

Pros:

When the film is dealing in bullets and things blowing up real good, it's top notch.  There is plenty of action throughout and Gibson makes for a pretty damn good bad guy.  Banderas and Snipes are also fun in their parts and while the four new team members really don't have that much more to do, Ronda Rousey does have one nice scene where she absolutely beats the hell out of a couple of bad guys.  Harrison Ford is also dryly funny in his role as the team's CIA handler.  I also get a kick out of seeing Robert Davi in a small role as an Albanian gangster Stonebanks meets with along with Kelsey Grammar as Ross' friend who helps recruit the new guys.

Cons:

 As tends to be the case with Stallone scripts, there is a little too much brooding, sometimes to the detriment of the film.  It sort of dragged the first movie down a bit and it does so again here.  Making things worse is the rather thin writing for the team as a whole, and not just the new members who we don;t really get to know all that well.  The usual banter between Stallone and Jason Statham is there but it feels a little tired.  Dolph Lundgren has one funny moment but is underused and Terry Crews gets shot in the first ten minutes and is sidelined until the last scene.

The end result is an acceptably entertaining action film, though it is nowhere near as fun as the second.  If the first two felt like Cannon films from the studio's prime, this one feels a little more like one of their later entries.  Solid fun, but decidedly undercooked.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.