Patrick Hughes’s ‘The Expendables 3’

Boom! Action! Sylvester Stallone! Explosion! Yes it is that time again, Expendables 3 has been released and is not doing very well in the cinema. Assembling one of the biggest cast list so far Sylvester Stallone has created what is essentially a role call of people that really need to stop and act their age. Among the walking skeletons that comprise the usual suspects for this movie we also have a corpse that once played Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Frasier Crane/Beast (Kelsey Grammer) and Mad Man Max (Mel Gibson), also thrown in is Antonio Banderas but he is amazing so we don’t mock him (Some how he elevates his scenes into something watchable). Holy fuck this film is stuffed with known names and to even it out slightly we have a few new stars to the series who are essentially inconsequential and Ronda Rousey who really deserves better because she, like Antonio, is amazing in this.

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Hot and more than capable of actually killing a man.

The plot is loosely based on a bible fable about Jesus, finding his disciples are no longer up to the task of spreading the lords word decides to upgrade them. In the film Jesus is replaced by Sylvester Stallone (Played by some scraps of tanned leather), Satan is played by Mel Gibson (Played by a mental hospital resident) and the lords word is now death by bullets, they love to spread death by bullets. Welcome to the geopolitically inaccurate world of Expendables 3, a film in which every place full of bad guys ends with -stan. The new blood introduced into the exist team of seasoned veterans is captured by Satan and Jesus must rally the old team of leather puppets back into action to save the day. Explosion noise!

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It’s like a leather factory exploded and then the remnants got together to make a film.

The cast has a few additions this time around and no really adds anything except for the previously mentioned heroes Ronda Rousey and Antonio Banderas, the film lights up as they fight together in a later scene. Ronda is clearly an athlete and shows off some insane physicality in the finale, grappling men while shooting at others. Mr Banderas plays an older version of his desperado character although more spritely and hamming it up as he chews scenery trying to flirt while taking out multiple nameless villains, again during the aforementioned finale. Wesley Snipes is more curious then entertaining as the new character Doc Death, a copy of Rob Christmas who was a member of the OG Expendables (As was Mad Mel), he seems to having fun acting as a good version of the character he played for Demolition Man. Mel Gibson just chews the script, the scenery and anything else that gets anywhere near him when he gets a chance to speak, clearly he took this as a chance to show he can still be a hammy action guy even if he is now batting for the villains team.

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Taking aim at the script and possibly someone of race because he is still Mel Gibson.

Less impressive are the old dogs who seem to be sleeping through this one. Schwarzenegger has resorted to repeating most of his old catch phrases, Jet Li is barely in it, Terry Crews is absent from 70% of the movie and poor Jason Statham is humiliated for being British. Stallone comes off the worst, attempting to replace the existing team for some hammy reason that puts others at risk after seeing none of them perform in a warzone and basing the hiring of them on a terrible montage. I think it is fair to say that what the Expendables need to think about is losing Stallone, he is one of the oldest members of the team and all of the worries about getting too old or too slow ring far truer for him.

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His wrinkles have wrinkles!

The film is easy to watch without thinking about what happens and this makes the rambling old men firing guns a little more bearable. This series needs to stop taking itself so seriously, sink into some campy action like ‘Commando’, bring back the squibs from ‘Robocop’, bring back 80’s one liners if you are going to revive the stars and stop pretending to be high art.

There are a great 15 minutes in this film, those 15 minutes do not include most of the cast so really the question is why are we not utilising these people? I give this film 1 Rob Schneider out of Sean Astin, sleep through most of it if you can.

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