Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Antonio Banderas, Kellan Lutz
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Written By: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 6 min
I’ll just get straight to the point, Expendables 3 is pretty awful and not in an entertaining way! In the last sequel, I thought they got the mix just right. Take your all-action cast and create a tongue in cheek over the top illogical and bloody violent movie. Expendables 2 was a big step up from the dour franchise opener, and I was hopeful they would continue with that successful formula in the third film.
Sadly, there were signs of trouble even before I walked into the theater to watch this film. With a PG-13 rating it seemed the bean counters were more interested in expanding their ticket buying audience, than making a fun action film. That rating absolutely guts the violence, and removes what was for me, one of the main reasons to see an Expendables movie. The action is also really poorly filmed, and a lot of the close quarter fights are edited so much they become incomprehensible, and completely waste the talents of MMA fighting stars like Ronda Rousey.
So with that stupid rating, and the action filmed to be almost unwatchable, what’s left to enjoy? The all-star cast of course, and at least on that front The Expendables 3 definitely ups the ante on the two earlier movies. But while it was certainly impressive to see Harrison Ford’s name in the credits, it didn’t translate to anything worth watching in the film. There were though some nice new additions to the cast, and Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson provide the most entertainment on the casting front.
If you enjoyed the first two installments, you’ll probably still get some enjoyment from this addition to the franchise. But if you’re looking for over the top cheesy violent fun, then this isn’t the film for you.
Expendables 3 has some of the same poor quality film making problems we saw in the two earlier installments. Bad editing, some poor quality footage and even bad framing. A regular DVD or streaming show on a TV will service this film well enough. If you can’t wait for that, then just take in a matinée screening.
Antonio Banderas was for me, the best element in this film. Full of life and energy, and hilarious as the incredibly eager mercenary for hire, Galgo. It was also kinda surreal watching Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Ford share screen time together!