Regular Dude Movie Reviews: The Expendables 3

Given that this is the third installment of The Expendables, you walk into the theatre knowing what you’re going to get and in that regard, the film delivers. There are explosions and bombs and guns and action and inside jokes and bad acting and wonky camera angles, more bombs, a couple more explosions and, well, you get the picture.

If you’re looking for that kind of flick, The Expendables 3 is worth every dollar. It starts with an action sequence, moves to another action sequence and keeps following the same pattern without too many pesky speaking breaks in between. A lot of bullets get shot, a ton of stuff gets blown up and there is so much diving, rolling, crash-bang-booming that you won’t need to see another shoot’em up action flick for a couple months after sitting through a little more than two hours of Sly Stallone’s third installment in the “let’s get as many old action stars together as possible” trilogy.

Considering I’ve seen the first two films in this series and didn’t harbour any delusions of this one suddenly deviating from the course that had been set by its predecessors, I have to say that I enjoyed my Friday afternoon watching Barney Ross (Stallone) & Co. blow stuff up.

Sometimes you just need a diversion—a way to kill a couple hours without being bored to tears that goes well with a side of popcorn and a really big soda, and The Expendables 3 fits that description.

Having said that, please make it stop.

We’ve got three of them now that we can cycle through on DVD whenever we want some mindless distraction involving aged icons of days gone by and one dude that could have been so much more. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Jason Statham.

Reprising his role as Lee Christmas, the right-hand man to Stallone’s Barney Ross, Statham does his usual duties, dropping a few quips in a British accent and getting into a fist fight with one of the big bad guys near the end of the flick. He’s found a beautiful comfort zone for himself and milk it for all its worth, but if you’ve seen Snatch (and you should have seen it by now), you know there is more to Statham than gun fights and riding shotgun for Sly.

Co-written by Stallone and the team of Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt (Olympus Has Fallen), and directed by Aussie Patrick Hughes (Red Hill), this installment feels like a mash-up of the first two movies, with equal servings of the “let’s make fun of ourselves” jokes from the second film and the “we’re going to make the ultimate action movie” over-extending from the first flick. There are a couple quality inside jokes, but mostly it just feels like this film was put together with only four possible scenes: action, inside joke, overly dramatic montage, and crappy dialogue that spells out everything you need to know about what is happening or going to happen right down to the letter.

The other problem is that when you just keep adding more people into the mix—as Stallone has done here by introducing The Junior Expendables, played by Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell and Kellen Lutz—there is very little room for any of the characters to be fully realized. The holdovers have some backstory that you know from the previous flicks, and each of the new recruits gets a two-minute “Hi, meet (insert character here)” clip, but they’re mostly just generic action movie archetypes added to the mix, including the requisite tech guy and hot chick that can kick ass.

Mel Gibson is enjoyable as the big bad, Stonebanks, in part because I assume that the real life Gibson has some of the same narcissistic, megalomaniac tendancies of his character, so he’s mostly just turning up the volume on his own personality than really acting. Antonio Banderas joins the ensemble as the talkative Galgo and gets a few laughs, but overall, there is just too much and not enough going on at the same time to really care about what anyone is saying.

You could watch this movie on mute and not miss anything other than a couple jokes that you’d only get if you knew something about the actors that utter the lines and/or their previous characters. But that’s not what this movie is about.

This flick is about blowing stuff up, hunting down the bad guy and having celebratory drinks at the bar after being in a massive battle with helicopters and tanks and rocket launchers and guns and explosives and grenades and hand-to-hand combat.

Basically, the easiest way I can sum this one up is that it is what it is.

If you’re looking for action and not a lot else, you’re going to enjoy The Expendables 3.

P.S. It’s good to know that after countless years of practice, movie bad guys still have awful aim.

Previous Regular Dude Movie Reviews:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Get on Up
Guardians of the Galaxy

Related Posts

Previous Post Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *