Director: Patrick Hughes
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Mel Gibson, and Wesley Snipes
Review Written By: Michael Dalton
The first Expendables was a bore, the second actually had moments of fun, and now we’re back to the boredom. The problem with these movies is that they don’t deliver what you want from them. The dialogue consists of awkward, forced, ‘banter’ between the boys that is not in any way amusing and then of macho posturing. The plot this time around is one that could have been interesting had we actually cared about any of the characters involved, although that would require having characters. The new, hip, young expendables brought into the mix this time around are some of the most uncharismatic, uninteresting action stars of all time. And what this highlights is a void in current action cinema. The obvious route to take with such a story is to have the modern action stars of today join these stars of yesterday, however we have no stars of today, and this is because we have movies like The Expendables which try and repackage us the stars of yesterday for one last final pay cheque. The only people who seem to be having fun with these films are the old stars and that fun isn’t truly had until they’re on holiday spending the money they made from these films.
It also doesn’t help that the action scenes aren’t particularly well directed or memorable. The only thing more saddening than an American remake of The Raid is the fact that Patrick Hughes, this film’s director, is the one who has been tasked with helming it. The CGI is poor; the violence restrained for the money grabbing PG-13 rating, and there’s no true sense of threat or excitement in any of the sequences. The final set piece of the film comes close to delivering what you’d want and expect from such a film but by then you’re ready for it to end, and the true man-to-man showdown between Stallone and Gibson feels like an afterthought. The one saving grace of this film is Antonio Banderas. He is clearly having a lot of fun with his character and he is the only one that truly provides any sense of enjoyment. In regards to the other new additions, Wesley Snipes is given a hero’s welcome at the beginning but not much more than that. Kelsey Grammer meanwhile needs to fire his agent, surely an actor of his caliber can appear in two better blockbusters this summer than this and Transformers: Age of Extinction? Whilst Mel Gibson’s villain literally walks for the majority of the film buying art, until he then gets to shout a little bit at the end. And Harrison Ford just really looks his age; please don’t put him through another Indiana Jones movie, for everybody’s sake.
Ultimately The Expendables 3 is every bit as forgettable as you’d expect, at least Transformers: Age of Extinction was fun with its bombastic mindlessness. A third missed opportunity for this franchise and hopefully the last we’ll see of it. Sly, maybe it’s finally time to do what your character tries to do in this film and hand it over to a new generation. When I’m a middle-aged man who are my Expendables going to be? Probably you lot on life support at this rate…