The Expendables 3

There’s maybe 15 minutes worth of dialog in this whole film, the rest is explosions, gun fights, knife fights, more gun fights and Harrison Ford flying a helicopter gleefully spewing one-liners. In other words, it’s just like the first two: gun porn. Which begs the question – why are we so ok with over-the-top gun violence but we’re so much more conservative with regard to nudity and sex? Oh, right, I’m reviewing The Expendables 3; now is probably not the best time for philosophical contemplation…

The storyline goes like this: Barney (Sylvester Stallone) and his rag-tag band of mercenaries are in the midst of their latest mission. Things are going ok but some kinks in the armor begin to emerge with the seasoned members of the team. The second mission goes bad and the enemy of the film emerges, more mistakes made, someone gets hurt. Barney decides it’s time for a change, a new lineup of The Expendables debuts only to find themselves on the wrong end of the shit stick. The crew comes together once again and so it goes.

If you liked the first two, you’ll like this one. The Expendables 3 is the same kind of guilty indulgence as the first two, but that perhaps is also the film’s weakness. There isn’t anything being introduced writing-acting-directing-action-wise that’s new (other than a female Expendable and some new celebrities). The film presents the same kind of gun fights, fist fights, tank fights, and well, you get it. The premiere of the movie didn’t do well in theaters but it was still that kind of guilty pleasure film that turned out to be fun to watch. I just hope this is the last one because things are getting really repetitive.

The lineup is more indulgently enjoyable than ever with the aforementioned Ford and Stallone alongside: Jason Statham, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson (who’s playing nearly the same Voz character he played in Machete Kills), Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammar, Ronda Rousey, Antonio Banderas, Glen Powell, and Victor Ortiz. No Bruce Willis this time, didn’t miss him.

The film is well-directed and well-produced. It’s fun to see on the big screen but only if you don’t mind more of the same in terms of action, dialog and presentation.

reviewed by Sean McKnight