80s action is alive and well with the third instalment of the Expendables
Sylvester Stallone and gang are back for another run as the Expendables and this time around they’ve got a few and old faces in the mix. In addition to the returning cast of the first two films, the third instalment of the franchise sees Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer and Mel Gibson joining newbies Kellan Lutz and Ronda Rousey. But does this latest actioner lock and load with a healthy body count or does it fire blanks? Let’s find out.
The Story: In true Expendables fashion, the film begins with an action sequence – a rescue op, on board a fast moving train. The extraction proves to be an ex-member of the group named Doc, who immediately joins the Expendables on an ensuing mission. However, the task at hand delivers a curve ball when Barney Ross discovers that Conrad Stonebanks, one of the original founders of the Expendables whom Barney thought he killed is alive and now a big time arms dealer. A shoot out occurs and after a melee, one of the Expendables gets badly injured prompting Barney to disband his group of friends for a new group of soldiers to go after Stonebanks.
What Worked: The action, which is a vital component of all Expendables films and the unwavering chemistry amongst the old-school action stars.
What Didn’t: Although it isn’t a big minus point, but essentially nothing’s really changed from the first two films except the humour is turned down a tad. But the body count is still there though and as healthy as ever.
Minus Points: A little too much Stallone and too little Lundgren, Statham, Crews and Couture. Even new additions Snipes, Grammer and Banderas have limited time on screen but thankfully they make the most of it, which is more than can be said of Jet Li who is reduced to a mere cameo in this one.
Conclusion: If it’s old school action you’re craving, this film will take care of that tenfold. Overall though, despite following the same formula of shoot first and ask questions later and then shoot some more, the Expendables 3 benefits greatly from its ensemble cast. Check your brain at the door and you may just find yourself truly enjoying this mega action romp.