MOVIE REVIEW: THE EXPENDABLES 3 / CERT: 12A / DIRECTOR: PATRICK HUGHES / SCREENPLAY: CREIGHTON ROTHENBERGER, KATRIN BENEDIKT, SYLVESTER STALLONE / STARRING: SYLVESTER STALLONE, MEL GIBSON, JASON STATHAM, KELLAN LUTZ, RONDA ROUSEY / RELEASED: OUT NOW
Sly Stallone’s Expendables franchise returns for another outing, but this time there’s some new blood thrown into the mix. After rescuing Snipes’ Doc during the opening sequence, it doesn’t take long before presumed-dead arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), one of the founders of the Expendables team, turns up and takes aim for his former brothers. With their behinds handed to them, Stallone’s Barney Ross decides that his team are now on the wane, that they’re past it, and that he can’t put their lives in jeopardy any further. From there, Ross, seeking the assistance of Bonaparte (Grammer), decides to bring in a team of fresh faces to help him take revenge on Stonebanks and to bring him down for good.
The Expendables 3 is exactly what you would expect it to be. There’s lots of explosions, lots of weaponry, lots of familiar action heroes, lots of cheesy dialogue, and a whole host of machismo seeping through the screen. When it was announced that this threequel was to be a 12A, many were concerned. Fear not, for the film still manages to have a tough edge to it, although some of the more gory kills of the last two movies are obviously held back here and a lot of the violence is shot with quick-cuts or off-camera actions. Still, the movie doesn’t suffer for this and the action is as amped up as you would hope.
In terms of the new faces brought in, all do a surprisingly good job at injecting the team (and the franchise) with a new life and freshness. In particular, Kellan Lutz gives a cock-sure performance that impresses, UFC Champ Ronda Rousey makes for a mightily-impressive female badass, whilst Glen Powell’s charismatic geek Thorn steals every scene he’s in. As for the older new faces, Antonio Banderas’ eccentric Galgo devours scenery in the way that Jean-Claude Van Damme did in The Expendables 2, although Banderas is one of the good guys here, and it makes you realise that there’s surely more for the former Mariachi than just residing on minty chewing gum ads these days. In terms of the bad guy of the piece, Gibson similarly devours all in front of him with an intense, erratic villain who is genuinely creepy at times, none more-so than when he shares a great mid-movie back-and-forth with Stallone and his team of young pups.
This is an actioner that has a lot more going on that just bullets, brawn and blowing things up. If we’re honest, some of the action scenes go on a little too long and become a tad samey, but there’s enough heart and chemistry in the old and new characters to make the film enjoyable on some other impressive levels.
Expected Rating: 5 out of 10
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