Monday, August 18, 2014

[Review] The Expendables 3

Our rugged collective of action stars of a certain age are back for round three. I'm just going to rattle of the list of names on board: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammar, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The main plot involves Stallone's character rallying up the crew in order to take down the villain Stonebanks played by Mel Gibson, a perfectly pitched antagonist. The group even recruits some new, young members, and yes... even A GIRL!!! Along the way, there's a chase sequence involving a helicopter and a train (because of course there is), a shipyard shootout, an abundance of explosions, and thousands of shots fired.

But The Expendables 3 has a significantly more somber mood than past outings. It still has the wisecracks and deprecating banter, but those are a lot more sparse this time around, and the film can't help but feel like it's lacking the pure fun we came for. The tired tone makes sense though, and it lends to the story on a couple different levels, especially considering how all the characters are reconsidering their dangerous lifestyle--thinking about packing it in and retiring. But the cost of this is a saggy and uninspired film. There's just too much reflecting, stalling, preparing, and exposition-driven conversations that slow the pace. The script really could've benefited from some more self-aware humor.

This third piece of the trilogy doesn't leave you with that dumb smile and amped sensation like the predecessors did, unfortunately rendering this one as, ahem... the most *expendable* one of the bunch.


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