By Jack Rico
The “1-4-0″: @Expendables3 is a good ol’ fashion action film that delivers some fun, but whose welcome is quickly waining. Time to refresh and reboot.
The Gist: Stallone’s troops are given the ax for some younger blood, but when they can’t come through, the vets come a helping to defeat Mel Gibson’s madness.
What Works: As an action movie, The Expendables 3 delivers some fun action sequences and it delivers it competently. The jokes play well and the new cast members Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Kelsey Grammer and Harrison Ford are a dream come true to see in one movie (specially Ford who shone the biggest star power). Schwarzenegger still is loved by the audience. In one scene, he said the word “chopper” in his heavy Austrian accent, and the crowd lost it. It was very funny. Banderas also was a scene stealer delivering a charming and humorous character.
What Doesn’t Work: Usually when a film has so many star actors fighting for screen time, there’s a clear loss in story substance and character development. The end result is an apathy that permeates the production, and once that happens, there’s a disconnection that occurs between audience and film very hard to reclaim. The Expendables 3 is culpable of this to varying effect. Stallone who is excellent at creating action movies that are character driven pieces (Rocky, Rambo), in other words, action movies with characters you care about, seemed more concerned in taking care of superstar egos than connecting with the audience. The end product is a movie that will be forgotten as soon as you take the first step out of the theater. In his defense, I thought director Patrick Hughes did a pretty good job giving every single actor their due screen time, yet, Stallone, who wrote and produced the movie, should have had less characters and more time to flesh out the real stars like Wesley Snipes, who’s role was the least expatiated. What to say with Mel Gibson. Though he gave a convincing performance, his finale battle vs. Stallone was a yawner. Why? Whether it was the PG-13 rating or just time, Stallone didn’t design a villain that we as an audience thought could really vanquish him. This was no Drago.
Pay or Nay? Nay. Overall, this isn’t a horrible movie. It mildly entertains and the laughs work. But forgive me if for my almost $20 bucks per ticket, I want something more than just mediocrity, and alas, that’s exactly what I got.
Rated: PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language.
Release Date: August 15, 2014
Screenplay: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Director(s): Patrick Hughes
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, Kelsey Grammer, Glen Powell, Robert Davi
Film Genre: Action