Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: "The Expendables 3" is Best When the Old Dogs Run

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 28 (of 2015) by Leroy Douresseaux (Support the author on Patreon)

The Expendables 3 (2014)
Running time: 126 minutes (2 hours, 6 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language
DIRECTOR:  Patrick Hughes
WRITERS:  Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, and Sylvester Stallone; from a story by Sylvester Stallone (based on characters created by David Callaham)
PRODUCERS:  Les Weldon, Avi Lerner, Danny Lerner, Kevin King-Templeton, and John Thompson
EDITORS: Sean Albertson and Paul Harb
COMPOSER:  Brian Tyler

ACTION with some elements of drama

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kelsey Grammer, Antonio Banderas, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz, Terry Crews, Jet Li, and Robert Davi

The Expendables 3 is a 2014 action movie from director Patrick Hughes.  It is the second sequel to the 2010 film, The Expendables, and the third movie in the The Expendables film franchise.  In The Expendables 3, team leader, Barney Ross, replaces his old teammates with some new blood for a showdown against a former friend turned arms dealer.

The Expendables 3 opens with the ExpendablesBarney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) the leader; his right-hand man, Lee Christmas (Jason Statham); Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren); Toll Road (Randy Couture); and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), on a new mission.  They seek to rescue Doc (Wesley Snipes), one of the original Expendables.

With Doc in tow, the Expendables head to Mogadishu, Somalia to capture billionaire arms dealer, Victor Minns.  However, Minns turns out to really be Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who co-founded the Expendables before going rogue.  After the Expendables' mission goes horrible wrong, Barney dismisses his current team.  When he faces Stonebanks again, Ross plans on having a younger team that is also not connected to him in any personal or emotional way.  But are the new Expendables:  Thorn (Glen Powell), Luna (Ronda Rousey), Marlito (Victor Ortiz), and John Smilee (Kellan Lutz), really ready to take on an Expendables mission?

Released in the late summer of 2010, The Expendables was a surprising gem, an explosive action film that was a throwback to the old macho, testosterone-fueled action films of the 1980s.  However, The Expendables was not some homage, parody, or sentimental recollection of action movie days gone by.  As I said in my review of the first film, it was “an authentic ass-kicking, ass-stabbing, cap-popped-in-ass action movie...”

The Expendables 3 is full of old relic-type actors from the 1980s and 90s – stars who dominated the movie box office and one television star.  The story toys with the idea that the old folks must make way for the new stars, but ultimately, it only plays with such a notion.  Honestly, I want to see Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, and Arnold Schwarzenegger more than I want to see Ronda Rousey and Kellan Lutz (nothing against them).

I can't quite express how much I enjoyed seeing Kelsey Grammer (as Bonaparte), an actor about whom I have always had mixed feelings, and Harrison Ford (as Max Drummer).  Ford is really showing his seven decades, but he's still cool.  The Expendables 3 is at its best when it showed the old dogs in action, which is what made the original film such a treat.  So, if there is a fourth film in this franchise, I want more aged beef and less fresh meat.

6 of 10

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

2015 Razzie Awards:  1 win: “Worst Supporting Actor” (Kelsey Grammer, also for Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return; Think Like a Man Too; Transformers: Age of Extinction); 2 nominations: “Worst Supporting Actor” (Mel Gibson) and “Worst Supporting Actor” (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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