Action Movie Fanatix Review: The Expendables 3

Action Movie Fanatix review banner for The Expendables 3

New Team.  New Attitude.  New Mission

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Glen Powell, Antonio Banderas, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz, Robert Davi

Director: Patrick Hughes

2014  |  126 Minutes  |  PG-13

“Why do they call you Doctor Death?” – Gunner Jensen
“Used to be a medic. But that was a long time ago.” – Doc

Synopsis:
The Expendables team go head-to-head with The Expendables co-founder turned arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson).  After one of the team members is nearly killed, Barney (Sylvester Stallone) enlists a younger, faster, more tech-savvy group of Expendables to get the job done once and for all.


The Expendables movies will never be winning any awards for their storytelling but I quite liked the set up for Ex3.  The idea that one of the founding members of the team went rogue and is now back for revenge is just a ton of fun.

And Mel Gibson makes for a fantastic baddie.  I just wish he had more notable faces to back him up.  I loved that in the first movie we had Steve Austin, Gary Daniels and the Nogueiras to back up the two main baddies.  Imagine if they could have gotten Michael Jai White or Michael Dudikoff or Don “The Dragon” Wilson to be Stonebanks’ right hand enforcer, similar to Scott Adkins’ role in #2.  Then throw a couple MMA fighters and pro wrestlers into the mix just for the fun of it.  Maybe Gina Carano to fight Ronda Rousey.  DREAM MATCH!!!  Former UFC fighter Jay Hieron is doing some action movie bit parts now.  He’d be perfect for something like this.  Oh well…

For those that don’t know the whole Wesley Snipes / Expendables back story, give me a minute to explain.  Snipes was all but signed on for the original Expendables movie when he got sent to prison for his tax problems.  Terry Crews was brought in as a replacement… and did a very fine job I might add.  Now that Snipes is out of prison, this was his first new film role and he absolutely steals the show.

Other classic action hero additions include Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas and Kelsey Grammer(???).  Obviously one of these things is not like the other.  Ford and Banderas have a plethora of action movie experience.  Kelsey Grammer doesn’t.  He probably sees more action in Ex3 than he has in his entire career but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t do a great job with the role he has here.  He’s as good of an addition as any of the others.

The young blood of the Expendables crew do pretty well here.  Ronda Rousey is the obvious standout for this action fan but Kellan Lutz is a nice addition as well.  I really don’t know much about the other newbies though.

It is a shame that the movie studio opted to go PG-13 with The Expendables 3 but I really don’t think it hurt the overall movie too much.  It feels a little bit neutered here and there but there were only a few spots where I actually thought about how much I was missing the blood-letting.  There’s definitely no shortage of bodies hitting the floor.  The action is some of the best in the series from the opening train scene to the final explosion.

The Expendables 3 feels like a return to what made the first Expendables movie great, lots of big action with some (but not too much) fun had between the host of awesome characters.  It didn’t perform all that well but there are still rumors that we will see The Expendables 4 and maybe even a TV series.

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