Expendables 3 (2014) – Review

Directed by Patrick Hughes
Written by Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Starring Well, everyone.

A Capsule Review
Sometimes, on admittedly rare occasions, I have nothing to say. I’m not normally lost for words and can usually spout some nonsense or other about most things, but sometimes, just sometimes, it really doesn’t feel like I’m in the right place to give an opinion. Either that or it just seems like too much of a trial to comment, especially after you’ve already had sit through the film you’re supposed to be commenting on. The good thing about having your own movie blog is that you can choose what you want to write about. Yet still, here I am, gentle reader, wallowing through the mire for your personal entertainment.

With this third release in the Sylvester Stallone franchise about some crusty old farts trying desperately to cling onto both their youth and their movie careers, you really get the feeling, if ever there was one, that their moment has maybe passed. Have some dignity gentlemen, really, this is all getting very silly.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the original draw of this franchise the opportunity for die-hard (sorry) eighties action fans to live vicariously once more through their heroes of yesteryear? Wasn’t the whole point this allegedly worked due to the fact that this was gathering the likes of Stallone, Arnie etc altogether in an orgy of impossible violence and bloody big guns?

Every subsequent entry into this franchise has added more notable players, with the likes of Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson even getting involved, so this new approach, recruiting a fresh, young team to take on the next apparently suicidal mission would seem to be the antithesis of what we were sold as the original intention. And if that weren’t enough there are new old faces here too with Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford and Antonion Banderas joining the fray.

The plot is here is, as with all of the others, paper thin. This time, the Expendables are tasked with apprehending Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), a notorious billionaire arms dealer that was once an Expendable himself, but has now got so far up the American governments nose that he has to be brought to The Hague to face trial for war crimes.

He’s not coming without a fight, however (wouldn’t you just know it?) and he has an army to help defend both himself and his interests. Cue the boys (and Luna, Ronda Rousey) and off we go into the maelstrom¬†¬† and chaos of mangled machinery, crumbling buildings, VERY LOUD NOISES, and lots and lots of guns and general fisticuffs.

This is exactly what you expect, so should you be foolish enough to expect anything other than what has been presented on at least two occasions before, then you’ve only yourself to blame. Stallone writes a predictable script which is perfect for the IQ demands of most of his players (not to mention what surely must be a mentally undemanding audience) and the explosions and action sequences are very impressive.

In short, you’ll either like this or dislike it. If you dislike it (and there are plenty of reasons to), then just don’t go and watch it. It will have a bit of trouble getting anyone to either hate or love it, however, as it generally fails to stir up enough emotion, either for anger or admiration.

Alright lads, enough is enough. Sit down, have a nice cup of tea, I’ll fetch your slippers.



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