John Hanlon Reviews

Film Reviews

The Expendables 3

Genre: Action and Adventure

Director: Patrick Hughes

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger

MPAA-Rating: PG-13

Release Date: August 15th, 2014

In The Expendables 2, buy information pills Liam Hemsworth joined the team of older action stars and brought with him some youthful vitality and buoyancy. That insertion of youth was a great choice but as viewers know, try he left the storyline early on leaving Stallone’s Barney Ross and his team of aging action stars to battle Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Vilain (yes, that was the character’s name).

In the new installment The Expendables 3, the concept of young people taking charge is a prominent one with Ross recruiting a new team to battle the monstrous Stonebanks, a psychotic arms dealer played by Mel Gibson. It’s not that Ross doesn’t believe in his old team anymore. After an early scene in which Caesar (Terry Crews) is shot, Ross realizes how many long-term friends he’s lost along the way and realizes that he doesn’t want to lose any more.

“We’re not the future anymore. We’re part of the past,” Stallone recognizes before seeking a new team courtesy of Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer).

The new team he recruits is young, tech-savvy and ready to fight. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all we know about this new blood. The youthful team is composed of Smilee (actor Kellan Lutz), Luna (MMA superstar Ronda Rousey), Mars (boxer Victor Ortiz) and Thorn (actor Glen Powell). The mediocre script doesn’t give any of them a chance to show off their unique personalities and instead, it simply lets them banter with members of the old crew including Gunnar (Dolph Lundgren) and Lee Christmas (Jason Stratham).

A few great lines of dialogue are thrown in to show the friction between the two teams but not enough to fully capture the potential of the idea.

The Expendables 3 does, however, do a number of things right. Antonio Banderas virtually steals the show as Galgo, a renegade who can’t find a team to work with. “Age is just a state of mind,” he says hoping that Ross will recruit him even at his age. When he’s eventually offered a spot on the team, he proves to be a trained killer and a long-winded communicator who annoys the team but will likely enliven the audience. Banderas is giving his all here and so is Gibson, making a rare onscreen appearance here, who proves his worth as the psychotically charismatic bad guy. Harrison Ford also does a solid job here as CIA operative Drummer. Ford appears to be enjoying himself in his small role and seems particularly excited when he gets to jump into the action.

For those looking for high art, The Expendables series has never been for you. What appealed to me about this feature were the knowing lines of dialogue the writers inserted to appease its core audience. From a joke about tax evasion regarding the Wesley Snipes character (who is woefully underused) to a goofy final speech from Ross (we have to be a team, he says), the writers offer plenty of winks and nods to the audience. I only wish that sarcasm was used more often here in some of the cheesier moments.

The Expendables 3 has its obvious flaws including a first scene that it dreadfully-shot (the action scene is hard to follow) but it eventually bounces back with its humor and a few of its supporting characters who help steal the feature moving along at a steady clip.


Review by: John Hanlon