Continuing my plan to watch every Sly movie in order, I come to Expendables 3.
Plot In A Paragraph: Barney Ross (Sly) disbands The Expendables and signs up some new blood to take down arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson)
Expendables 3 is certainly action packed and while there is plenty hand to hand knockabout and a lot of people die, but they either quickly fall bloodlessly, or it's all off screen (a lot of quick cut aways) with a PG13 rating there is no viewing of the actual carnage.
For me Snipes owned the beginning of the movie, (but then seemed to have been forgotten about the rest of the movie) Grammar kept things moving a long nicely during the recruiting section. Then Banderas walks away with the movie in the final third. If the character of Doc (Snipes) had been more carefully scripted, and given more screen time in the second half of the pic, he would have easily stolen the picture.
Sly has shown before he can be a fine dramatic actor when allowed to escape his action hero confines, however here Gibson steals the scenes he shared with him. His hairline is distracting again (especially when he meets Ford for the first time) at times, as is his wardrobe. He seems to change clothes every scene. In fact he actually looks younger in this movie, than he did in the first.
A big problem for me with this one is, Sly's Barney Ross is suddenly invincible!! the old man who "just got my ass kicked" in the first movie is long gone. No longer are The Expendables a team, who are there for each other (the first movie is the most ensemble of the three) it's a Barney Ross led gang. And he is fine with doing things on his own.
For his brief time on screen Ford brings style to the proceedings and simply radiates presence. Gibson is under used (in the first half) But he owns the scene with Sly in a Van midway through. It is the stand out scene of the movie (the only one with any intensity, and an example of how good an expendables movie can be) and a reminder of how good Gibson is. He is easily the best villain to grace the franchise. That scene in the van is possibly the best acted scene in the franchise.
Jason Statham has less to do in this movie than the other movies, but he gives his usual fine performance as Christmas. Jet Li once again is sadly nothing more than a cameo. Lundgren's Gunner seemed to be slipping back to the unbalanced guy from the first movie, and Couture just seems happy to be there!!
Of the young guns, Ortiz and Powell are bland and uninteresting, Kellan Lutz is at least annoying with his lack of respect for Barney, whilst Rhonda Rousey (My god is she hot) is OK
There is an Expendables movie so of course there is a fiery climax, which unfortunately involves some Awful CGI explosions. If Superman IV should have thought film makers anything, it is 'if you have bad special effects, don't reuse them over and over again!!'
There are less jokey references to the stars previous roles than in Expendables 2, and it is much effective than the infinite amount in Ex2. It is longer than other two movies, so it gives a bit more time to know the characters, Sadly it wasted on the likes of Ortiz and Lutz, who are both a waste of screen time.
The fight between Sly & Gibson is too short (About same as Sly and JCVD in Ex2) and is predictable. The climax is also more than slightly ridiculous. As I said earlier, Gibson is the best villain to grace an Expendables movie, one you felt could hurt the Expendables, and it is was saddening to see him dispatched so effortlessly and singlehandedly by Sly. I'd have rather Gibson got the better of Sly in a brutal fight, with both of them giving every ounce they had (as Rambo and Riggs would have done) before Sly won, or even better if Jet Li (ala Lethal Weapon 4) helped Sly fight him.
The core audience of this franchise don't care about the new younger people that were added to the cast, and they also don't want to see a PG-13 movie with them in, whilst younger cinema goers don't care about an Expendables movie.
I think if we got an R rated DVD, it may be a bit better thought of, but the lame new recruits would still be a waste of screen time, the fight would still be the same and again all of the Expendables would live.
Another Expendables movie that continues the trend of the previous two movies, some good parts, some not so good parts, an overall feeling of a missed opportunity, but still OK.
Hampered by the rating, which angered some/most fans, and the HD screener leak, Expendables 3 limped to $39 million at the domestic box office, and ended the year, the 80th Highest Grossing Movie of 2014.
66 out of 118 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.