Synopsis: Barney augments his team with new blood for a personal battle: to take down Conrad Stonebanks, the Expendables co-founder and notorious arms trader who is hell bent on wiping out Barney and every single one of his associates.
“The Expendables 3” is nothing different from the previous films. With a cast known for horribly good action films you honestly can’t expect a lot of cinematic praise. The plot is simple, the characters haven’t changed, and overall the film is highly predictable. There are some new characters that are introduced but are insignificant for the most part. I was far more interested in the classic cast than the new cast and wish they would have focused all of the screen time on them. The franchise continues the formula from the last film by slowly integrating a younger cast with an older one which I think is a mistake.
The one redeeming cinematic feature is the amount of intense explosions throughout the film coupled with a variety fluid action sequences. The fight scenes and gunfights are just as fun as the massive explosions. Mixing the old cast with the new, they set an action standard for the older cast to prove themselves and they definitely do. Many of the actors (Stallone, Snipes, and Banderas) keep up with all of the “youngsters” and possibly outperform them on an action level.
By the third film you should know not to expect much from cinematic elements. Despite that fact, the overall mayhem carried the film and made it adequately entertaining. For nostalgic action afficionados, “The Expendables 3” is a reminiscent thrill ride that entertains on a familiar yet exciting platform. The thrill of the film is seeing new cast members show up in every film, especially those that are reliving their classic action roles.
From a male, testosterone driven perspective, I would recommend this film to most action lovers. For the less testosterone driven, I would say this film may not be for you because outside of action there is no other developmental elements of the film. “The Expendables 3” falls into the category of hit or miss due to it being geared towards action junkies. I would recommend it as a guys night out but definitely not a date night.
I give The Expendables 3 – 6 out of 10
Entertaining for action afficianados, simplistic for the rest of us…
The Expendables 3 explodes on the scene for everyone interested in the nostalgic 80’s action that put most of the stars of this film on the map. The Expendables features a much bigger cast, more action, more explosions, and bigger stakes than ever before. This Expendables continues the formula and devices that you come to expect from a pure 80s driven action film with whatever reason necessary to direct Sylvestor Stallone’s Expendables again Mel Gibson and his band of Mercenaries. Plot be damned as its completely unnecessary for those who just want to see the action and worry about the story later.
Believe it or not this film does loosely have an actual plot. The film opens with the introduction of Wesley Snipes’ character who is returning to the team after serving years in prison for… tax evasion. It’s tongue in cheek things like this that keep the Expendables humble and ask the audience not to take it too seriously as a narrative and instead focus on the effort put into making the characters and their actions interesting. Things move at a nice clip from this point forward with the pacing in this film being a nice improvement over prior films with downtime to help you transition between chaotic action and bullet storms that are sprinkled throughout the film.
This movie brings back most of the stars from the prior films, it introduces the bunch of new faces as well probably the most prominent additions to the cast in Wesley Snipes as Doctor Death, fresh out of prison and ready to join up with the Expendables in order to track down Mel Gibson’s who joins up as the villain of this film the nefarious Conrad Stonebanks. With that said, it’s immediately noticeable that Stonebanks is by far the best villain the Expendables have ever faced. He’s intimidating, fun, clever, and completely feels justified in his actions. Mel Gibson nails this role and although it may seem like he’s playing a generic movie villain, the difference with Gibson is that he plays a generic movie villain PERFECTLY. He’s easy to hate and enjoyable to watch and this film noticeably benefits from the improved talent. Other fresh faces for the Expendables are Harrison Ford and Kelsey Grammar who help elevate the film to levels of consistency and quality rarely seen in an Expendables film. It’s almost surreal how smoothly these new faces were integrated to the pre-existing franchise.
I really enjoyed the Expendables. The action was improved, the pacing was improved, and the level of action and violence was just about what one would expect and want from an Expendables film. The noticeable nitpick with the film would be with the depiction of violence, or lackthereof, in this film as this movie is a bit toned down from priors in order to receive a PG-13 rating rather than the traditional R. I honestly hadn’t noticed the lack of blood or hard curses until discussing the film after watching but for those of you seeking this out beware because it’s not there.
There are so many Expendables in the lineup that it’s easy to assume that these guys would appear in a majority of the film throughout, like in prior films, but this film takes a change of pace and instead focuses on newer Expendables and less on the older generation. In fact it’s completely understandable to call Schwarzenegger’s and Jet Li’s appearances in this film cameo’s rather than starring roles as their screen time is likely under 10 mins each. The lack of screen time for some of the characters I wanted to see was disappointing but didn’t affect my overall feelings for the film.
That being said I thought the movie was really enjoyable when expectations are appropriate. This isn’t a thinking man’s film and instead relies on one to keep an open mind with story/plot and instead judge the film on its action. With that said I still found the overall improved cast appreciable to elevate this Expendable to my favorite film of the series. Coulda used more Chuck Norris but that’s a nitpick! I had fun with this silly little movie and look forward to seeing what and who Stallone is able to pull out for the next movie.
I give the Expendables a spolosive 6.5 out of 10