Monday, 25 August 2014

'The Expendables 3' Review

Stallone and the gang are back in one of this summer's, big action blockbusters, The Expendables it as pumped as Terry Crews' pecs, or, have the gang become expendable... Allons-y!

It should go without saying, SPOILERS FOLLOW!


The Expendables 3  opens with Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), and the 'old' gang, rescuing former member Doc (Wesley Snipes), to assist them in an upcoming, routine mission. As this is the first 15 minutes of an action film, said routine mission is anything but routine. Ross comes face to face with the presumed dead Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), a former ally turned enemy.

After Ross' face to face with Stonebanks (which, by the way, results in a mass firefight, car chase and, Stonebanks not only dropping a bomb on the gang, but nearly killing Hale Caesar (Terry Crews)), Ross is then hired by Max Drummer (Harrison Ford) to bring in Stonebanks, alive. Ross decides this is pretty much a suicide mission and he refuses to lead his team into it. He opts instead to retire them and bring in some 'new blood' with the help of his old friend, Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer)...slightly questionable ethics don't you think Mr Ross?

Ross and his 'new', tech-savvy gang, set out to capture the world's most dangerous war criminal...which they do, briefly! In a rather obvious turn of events however, Stonebanks is sprung from Ross' custody, the 'new' gang is captured, and Ross and the 'old' gang have to rescue them. The latter part of the film, after the 'new' gang is rescued, sees both gangs, 'new' and 'old' fighting alongside one another, lending weight to rumours that this film is, in fact, a torch passing ceremony.

A sizable portion of the movie is spent introducing, and fleshing out, the 'new' gang. As nice as I am sure these actors and athletes are in real life, I feel their inclusion is detrimental to the movie. I realise the popular rumour is that this movie is to pass the torch, so, if true, they need to be in it. However, this is a perfect example of 'too many cooks spoil the broth'...take for example the action sequences, especially towards the end, you have to keep up with, at times, up to, 13 different's almost headache inducing.

The Expendables 3  has a 12A rating (PG13 - USA), and this is probably my main issue with the movie. Anyone who has heard the names Stallone, Schwarzenegger, or Lundgren, will probably know films such as Rambo , Terminator , and Universal Soldier. Films like these are, to this day, some of the biggest ever action blockbusters (obviously, there are many more!). One of the reasons they did so well was that the action looked real. They had a 15 or 18 rating (R - USA) so, when someone got shot, you knew it. When someone got stabbed, you knew it. I'm not saying that it should turn into a Saw  film, however, considering the amount of guns and bladed objects in the movie, you would expect a little blood from time to time. At least as an indication as to who has been shot/stabbed/maimed for life! I'm not blaming the makers of The Expendables 3 for this, it isn't a new thing. Take this year's Robocop  reboot for example, they effectively made that fit to show on The Cartoon Network! FYI, The Expendables 3 shares it's rating with Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, a film based on children's books, and that has blood in it...quite a lot of blood...and deaths of beloved characters!

I could, if I was so inclined, pass judgement about the movies lacklustre storyline, or, at times, questionable film making, however this would be somewhat unfair. The film isn't supposed to be a modern day Casablanca, it's a no frills action flick that you watch scoffing popcorn and guzzling fizzy pop...all whilst wishing you had something near Terry Crews' dedication to working out.

The enjoyment the cast had making the film is quite obvious and it shines through onto the screen. The action sequences, whilst action-y (it's a real word!), are fun and often filled with comedy, even during the most dire of situations. Despite the movies obvious flaws, it's quite an enjoyable throw back to 80's action. If you are looking for a fun, easy on the brain, action flick to watch for a couple of hours, you could do a lot worse than The Expendables 3.

Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts on it? Leave me some comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.


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