The Expendables 3, yet another entry in Sylvester Stallone's attempt to take a bunch of old action heroes and throw them all into one movie to cash in on the viewers' nostalgia.
The Expendables franchise has always had an identity crisis. Sometimes it wants to be a serious action film, while other times it tries to be a self-aware parody that makes jokes about the cast. For me, the parody route of the second film is what worked the best in my opinion, while the more serious moments always suffered from poor writing. The Expendables needs to be a fun nostalgic romp with plenty of humor, blood, and absurd action sequences. Unfortunately, The Expendables 3 tries yet again try to make a serious film, and the results are mixed.
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Release Date: August 15, 2014
Running Time: 126 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13
The Good: Epic final action set piece, Mel Gibson is the best part of the movie, Harrison Ford (nuff said), A few fun references to previous films, Antonio Banderas is not that bad,
The Bad: Novelty is wearing off, Why do you need the young cast?, Lacks the fun factor of previous films, Incredibly dumb plot, No one aside from Mel Gibson actually acts, Tonally conflicted,
Plot: 2.9/10- The Expendables 3 continues to have a completely pointless and incredibly stupid plot. It is the typical takedown the evil War Lord plot. There are a ton of plot holes and just dumb moments. None of the Expendables films have had competent plots, but since the director is trying to portray a serious movie, the dumb moments are blatantly evident and distract from the overall enjoyment. Another negative plot point is that the movie focuses on a new crew of young characters. The reason in the story for introducing the younger cast is fine, but why would you want to?
Characterization: 5.0/10- As before, most of the characters are thinly defined charactertures with little to no development. However, Mel Gibson's villain, Conrad Stonebanks, is the highlight of the film, although that is mostly due to Gibson's acting.
Action: 8.1/10- The Expendables 3 features two notable action sequences. The first action scene is decent, but rarely impressive, especially by current hollywood standards. However, the final action sequence is mostly top notch. Of course, you have to completely disregard physics and logic, but that is more or less expected from the franchise.
One controversial aspect of the film is that this third entry is rated PG-13 and not R. While there are a few moments where there could have been more blood, the PG-13 rating did little to affect the film in a negative way.
Acting: 4.7/10- Most of the old cast like Statham and Kelsey Grammer phone in their performances. Stallone seems be trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to act, and even Harrison Ford is clearly phoning it in. As for the young members of the cast, they range from mediocre to bad, and their lack of acting experience is clearly seen. Thankfully, the film is saved by Mel Gibson as he relishes the evilness of his role. He often seems like the only guy actually acting, which makes the rest of the cast look even worse, and it is almost as though he knows it. Antonio Banderas is often cited as being the "Jar Jar Binks" of the film, and while he is occasionally annoying, he provided a great sense of fun and humor that the film was sorely lacking.
Special effects: 7.1/10- Generally, the special effects looked alright. However, some of the CGI looked cheap at times.
Soundtrack: 7.5/10- Brian Tyler's score adds a degree of fun and energy to the action sequences, even when the action itself is not the best.
Humor: 7.8/10- The Expendables 3's humor works when they try to be funny, especially the references to the off-the-camera problems and jokes about the actors' iconic films. Antonio Banderas' jokes manage to be another high point in the humor. With that said, the film could have definitely used more humor.
Entertainment Value: 7.3/10- Due several factors, including the novelty wearing off, the unnecessarily serious tone, and a terribly dumb plot, The Expendables 3 is not nearly as entertaining as the previous entry, although it is still more fun than the first film.
Overall: 6.2/10- Overall, The Expendables 3 is a fun, albeit dumb, action film. Unfortunately, there is not enough humor to be an action comedy, but it is not well written enough to be a competent action film, so it ultimately falls somewhere in limbo.
Closing comments: Despite my problems with the movie, it is still worth watching if you enjoyed the previous movies, and it is at least better than the first Expendables.
Recommended for: Action fans, If you watched the previous films,
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