Follow us
Mobile
Pin It

The Expendables 3: A Rocky Endeavor 

Rating: **

THE EXPENDABLES 3
**
DIRECTED BY Patrick Hughes
STARS Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham

Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas in The Expendables 3 (Photo: Lionsgate)
  • Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas in The Expendables 3 (Photo: Lionsgate)

Say this for The Expendables 3: It's arguably a fraction better than the two previous installments in this AARP-endorsed franchise. Then again, I'd hate to live on the difference.

The series has always been promoted as an all-star action romp in which all these muscular marquee fillers have equal billing, but really, it's been a Sylvester Stallone vanity project all along. That's never more apparent than in this entry, which finds Stallone's Barney Ross deciding that his fellow mercenaries (among them Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and newest old kid on the block, Wesley Snipes) are, in the vernacular of Roger Murtaugh, too old for this shit. Of course, Barney doesn't apply this line of logic to himself, so he axes the other oldies and surrounds himself with four young'uns (including Twilight player Kellan Lutz and Olympic and MMA star Ronda Rousey in her film debut) as he goes after Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), a former colleague who has journeyed over to the dark side. Yet when these whippersnappers get captured by Stonebanks, it's up to the seasoned soldiers to pop in their dentures and come to the rescue.

Stallone (who also co-scripted), as usual, hogs the spotlight, though Snipes at least gets some quality time at the start and Antonio Banderas, as a motor-mouthed assassin who wants to join the team, steals second-half scenes whenever he can. Gibson makes a more effective villain than he did in Machete Kills, while Harrison Ford, likely the lone liberal in this Limbaugh-loving logjam, has the only laugh-out-loud line (involving Statham's British accent) as he essays the role of a snarling CIA suit, in essence replacing the previous pictures' Bruce Willis (who, in true capitalist form, wanted $4 million instead of the proffered $3 million for his handful of scenes and was told by Stallone and the studio to fuck off).

Otherwise, this is disposable Kleenex entertainment, with Patrick Hughes faring no better than previous directors Simon West (Ex. 2) and Stallone (Ex. 1) in shooting action scenes that largely fail to snap, crackle and pop. Jet Li has been brought back, but only to fire weapons, not engage in martial arts maneuvers (what was the point then?), and Arnold Schwarzenegger, looking nearly as immobile as the visages on Mount Rushmore, contributes his usual obligatory scenes.

Aren't there any more Planet Hollywoods for these guys to run into the ground?

  • Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Creative Loafing encourages a healthy discussion on its website from all sides of the conversation, but we reserve the right to delete any comments that detract from that. Violence, racism and personal attacks that go beyond the pale will not be tolerated.

Related Films

The Expendables 3
Rated PG-13 · 127 min. · 2014
Official Site: theexpendables3film.com/hq
Director: Patrick Hughes
Writer: Dave Callaham and Sylvester Stallone
Producer: Avi Lerner
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Terry Crews and Randy Couture
The Expendables 3: The IMAX Experience
Rated PG-13 · 127 min. · 2014
Official Site: theexpendables3film.com/hq
Director: Patrick Hughes
Writer: Dave Callaham and Sylvester Stallone
Producer: Avi Lerner
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Terry Crews and Randy Couture

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for The Expendables 3

Latest in Reviews

Readers also liked…

More by Matt Brunson

Search Events

Recent Comments

© 2016 Womack Newspapers, Inc.
Powered by Foundation