I have to caveat this review with: If you are a senseless violence, explosion, action movie, big budget film fan, then ignore this review and go see the movie. Despite the review if there was an Expendables 8, I would be there the first day. The below is me putting on my film critic hat.
I try to check out every single Sylvester Stallone flick because I love watching a good train wreck. Stallone is men’s answer to Madonna. He refuses to accept the fact that he is no longer 27 and can’t play the same rolls anymore. Instead, he desperately clutches onto his last vestiges of youth. It’s really an undignified, but utterly fascinating struggle.
In this third installment, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who from his last name and the fact that he’s played by Mel Gibson, is obviously a bag guy. Once upon a time, Barney and Stonebanks were the best of friends, right up until Stonebanks because a ruthless arms trader. This time, Barney destroys the purpose of the Expendables in the first place, by bringing in a bunch of new kids who can actually do the job.
The whole reason the Expendables was even watchable was thrown out in this movie. The Expendables are supposed to be a bunch of old men that no one cares about anymore. In order to breathe new life into a tired premise, as well as give us some younger than 50 boob shots, a bunch of younger more tech savvy (and flexible in the morning) people are hired.
Which kind of eliminates the need for the Expendables.
Is it just me, or does Stallone’s face not move anymore? I swear to God, I did not see it move once during this film. Whether he was shooting down bad guys with an AK-47, or catching up on American Idol, Barney wore one expression. It was the slightly surprised look of a fading star in his 50s who got a too tight facelift.
Mel Gibson seems to be embracing these villain rolls, but he doesn’t really have a choice. I mean, when you go off on an anti-Semitic tirade against an industry that’s like 90% Jewish, you’re going to get type cast as a villain. But I think Gibson might have found his calling. I like him so much more now that he admits he’s evil.
The newbie’s in this film are a bunch of forgettable eye candy, there to keep younger viewers watching.
The Expendables was never high art, but the third installment of the series makes the first two look like Schindler’s List. This really was a poor effort and a shameless money grab.
I’m a bit disappointed in the fact that Lionsgate would even put this out as is. This is an action franchise that had a great premise. It was the premise that kept people coming back, when Stallone’s rubber face would have scared them away. To completely change the formula in the third installment smacks of desperation. Perhaps Lionsgate is losing faith in their dying franchise.
It isn’t dead yet though. The Expendables 3 is currently performing at number 4 in the box office, having earned a little over $15 million. Despite those numbers I have to say, the Expendables 3 is utterly…expendable.
WE GAVE IT: 2.5 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!