Sunday, September 27, 2015
The Expendables 3
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.