The Expendables 3

I need to give massive kudos to whoever cut together the trailer for The Expendables 3. In the cinema I was left excited to see more of our ageing action heroes despite my opinion of the first two films (here’s my review for EX2). Having seen it however I can’t help but feel let down.

If you’ve seen the trailer (it’s below!) then you know the story. Mel Gibson’s Stonebanks co-founded the group, reappears after being thought of as dead, and kidnaps the ‘kids’ that Barney (Stallone) hired to replace the ageing Expendables.

I’m not sure how Barney ever thought this would be a good idea. In the second film he hires a younger guy and that doesn’t pan out too well for him. So why would four kids be any good now? He’s clearly suffering from survivors guilt and even mentions it; but it’s pretty dumb when he’s already got guys who will lay it all down for him and are well entrenched in this life.

Anyway….dumb story decisions are not my issue with this film. Contrived situations make up the bulk of action films so it’s to be expected.

What does bug me is how the quest for a 12A rating has completely neutered this group of bad ass action heroes. What 12 year olds even care about these guys? The series always catered towards those who grew up with Arnie, Sly and Bruce. It ends up being nothing than a bat that we’re struck with constantly every time we don’t see a knife buried or don’t see any blood or don’t see proper contact. In fact the more I think about it the more it upsets me. Damn it.

They still make Stallone run too! For goodness sakes HE CANNOT RUN AND IT DOESN’T LOOK CONVINCING. You made a wise choice losing the facial hair, now make another wise one and cut that crap out. At least he looks very Cobra and has some good one-liners.

That’s not to say there isn’t some good action in it. There is. It just could have been better.

Onto the new blood. Lutz makes the best impression as an anti-authoritarian beefcake. He could have a future in this. Rousey however does not with her search for a harsh glare resulting in it looking like she needs to have a poo. ‘Hacker’ (seriously?) Powell does little to impress other than move his hands impossibly fast over touch screens and big himself up whilst Ortiz barely talks and only gets to shoot people with a shotgun at too far away a range. Bit of a dud group on average.

At least the old guys who show up are good for it. Gibson is deliciously deviant in his behaviour, always up for a fight and clearly enjoying being the bad guy. It’s good to see Snipes back, with his crazy eyes and ‘jingle jangle’. These two are the best things about EX3 by a mile. Banderas is at times plain stupid though can be entertaining and Ford mainly grumbles (as is his want). I just wish these guys where in a better film!

Cut out half hour, make the old guard less douchey towards the kids, resist too many cameos and really crank up the tension between Stallone and Gibson. Then you’d have a film. This could have been the best by a mile but shoots itself so many times I can’t help but be extremely disappointed in it.

Oh, and give it its balls back.

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