Posted August 4, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews

The Expendables 3 Review


Action movies are a funny thing. You are invited to watch men twice your size perform feats of bravos and exemplary force in a nature that would almost never happen in real life. Couple this with the fact that the men in question are twice your age, and on their third outing, and it all leaves you questioning exactly why are you sitting in a darkened room, with a large popcorn in your hand. But then you switch your common sense off once more, and everything is fine.

The Expendables 3 sees Stallone’s Barney Ross and his band of mercenaries-for-hire on a job of involving bombs, car chases and lots of bad guys getting shot. But, said job is thrown into disarray as Ross realizes who the man to be captured is – a once colleague (an ex-Expendable? Or the only Expendable who truly was expendable?) who was thought to be dead but, seemingly, is not. Ross then decides that he is to go after the culprit – Mel Gibson’s Conrad Stonebanks – and it’s to be a one way trip.

It’s important to point out that, while The Expendables 3 isn’t going to win any Oscars, there are some stellar performances. Wesley Snipes’ introduction is easily the best of the franchise, him being as ridiculous as you could care to imagine. This, along with Banderas’ performance throughout, steal the show of all limelight.

Stallone’s script does try to tug at your heart strings from time to time, but it just doesn’t have the means to get these feelings across. What it does well is quip some memorable one liners in as heavy a fashion as the ones which leave you groaning in annoyance (“Get to the choppa!” is uttered at one point).

The series of scenes in which the young recruits are called upon is both fun and pointless. It takes time away from what you want in an expendables film – stuff blowing up. But seeing Kelsey Grammer get more screen time is worth it, even if you don’t feel any affection to the young Expendables for the remainder of the film. He brings an aura of class and sophistication to a film that is neither classy nor sophisticated.

There is little CGI in this film, a lot of the stunt work being true. But the CGI that is used is laughable. One image of a young recruit jumping off a cliff and, very quickly, paragliding to safety had more chuckles than some of the jokes. Shots of Harrison Ford’s helicopter work left a lot to be desired, but we all know he’s more suited to a different type of aircraft, so we’ll let them off with that.

But there is one thing that this film was lacking, and it’s a more adult rating. Yes, the 12PG rating is pushed to the very edge of it’s boundaries with The Expendables 3, due to the language used and violence factor. But if the filmmakers had aimed for a 15, it could have done it right just that little bit better. On a side note to the violence – up until the film’s climax, only one Expendable gets shot. And he gets shot once. Maybe it’s time for a name change.

So, The Expendables 3 has fighting, explosions, gun shots, tanks, throwing knives, and a handful of pensioners battling an entire army. Same again next year?

3 Stars



Chris Droney