Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Expendables 3

The biggest EXPENDABLES to date really piles on the guest stars, including Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer, and — as the bad guy — Mel Gibson. Unfortunately, though it’s great to see these veterans trading quips and bullets, THE EXPENDABLES 3 suffers from its over-stuffed nature, as well as the crummy CGI (par for the course with a Millennium/Nu Image production) and a PG-13 rating. It’s nice to have Snipes (MURDER AT 1600) in his first major role since serving a prison sentence for tax evasion (used as an in-joke here), but the screenplay by Sylvester Stallone and the OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN team of Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt jettisons him and most of the older cast members in favor of boring young new cast members.

After Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) is wounded on a mission in Somalia, Expendables leader Barney Ross (Stallone) grounds his usual team members, including Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Doc (Snipes), Gunner (Dolph Lundgren), and Toll Road (Randy Couture), as dinosaurs. Working with recruiter Bonaparte (Grammer), Barney puts together a new team that you won’t give a damn about with the possible exception of real-life fighter Rousey, the first female Expendable (director Patrick Hughes films her first fight scene in extreme close-up or long shot, so it could be anybody fighting). Banderas almost steals the picture as Galgo, a puppy dog who really, really wants to be an Expendable and sends Bonaparte a fake resume for the chance to impress Barney.

The Expendables’ target is the deliciously monikered Conrad Stonebanks, played to the hilt by Gibson, who doesn’t play for camp as he did the villain in MACHETE KILLS. Stonebanks is a former Expendable who betrayed the team and was believed to be dead. Now a wealthy arms dealer, Stonebanks is responsible for Caesar’s shooting, and Barney means to take him down. Unfortunately, his boss with the government, Drummer (Ford), orders Barney to take Stonebanks alive so he can be tried for war crimes. Obviously, that ain’t gonna happen.

The good news for the audience is that Barney’s new team of youngsters gets captured pretty quickly, forcing the original band to get back together. Schwarzenegger pops up on occasion in a reprise of his role from the first two pictures, as does Jet Li, who doesn’t even fight anybody. Hughes delivers a standard action picture with the requisite gun battles and stunts, though it would be nice if most of them had been created on the set and not by some nerd’s mouse clicks. Sloppiness abounds from the sight of European license plates on an Arizona car to the amateurish process photography behind the actors pretending to drive. You would think a $90 million production could afford to put Stallone and Grammer in an actual car on an actual road for an afternoon.


Glen Davis said...

I heard that Jet Li was injured, and not medically cleared to do fight choreography for Expendables 3.

Vitalii Anufriiev said...

It is a big pleasure to watch those movies with such actors. I write different articles at Writers Per Hour and also Im a big movie fan so I want to start a new blog dedicated to movie stars.

Manfred Arcane said...

Sloppy movie but enjoyed the hell out of it because it seemed so old and comfortable with actors whose work I've enjoyed through the years. Banderas is a scene stealer in this one.

Andy said...

The directing really harms the movie because the guy moves in too close, cuts too fast, and generally doesn't know how to properly shoot an action scene of any kind. Everything wrong with modern action filmmaking.