Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Movie Review: "The Expendables 3" (2014)

Movie"The Expendables 3"
Director: Patrick Hughes
Rating: PG-13 (WHAT?!?!?!?!?!)
Running Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes
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The Expendables are back and on a whole new mission. They have been tasked with capturing an international arms dealer who needs to stand trial for war crimes. They fail this mission and are shocked to find out that this arms dealer is a former Expendable named Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). When one of the team members is critically shot, Barney (Sylvester Stallone) is worried he could lead his whole crew, who he considers his family, to their grave. Barney fires his old team and recruits a new team of young crazies to whom he is less attached. Stonebanks is craftier than they expected and it may take both teams working together to bring him down. 

Let's get the elephant in the room out of the way first. We never thought we'd see an "Expendables" movie be PG-13. It's almost sacrelig to the entire idea of the franchise. We were not looking forward to the drop in rating. Besides the fact that the success of the first two films was, in large part, because they were throwbacks to the unapologetic, violent, bloody and destructive 80's action movies starring the guys who are in this series (Stallone, Schwarzenegger, etc), a PG-13 rating could alienate its core audience. The days of bodies getting blown in half and heads popping like grapes are unfortunately over. Now, people fall dead with little to no blood and quick cutaways are implemented during hand to hand combat, which hides knives being buried into people. What a bummer.

Beyond what we think was this potentially huge faux pas (judging by this weekend's box office numbers, we may have been right), this film was not as bad as we were expecting. Many newcomers to the cast add quite a bit of fun, while others are, for lack of a better term, expendable. Wesley Snipes seemed to find his niche early on in the movie and fit in well as Doc, though we think is underutilized. Antonio Banderas, though some might find his character grating and annoying, added some much needed coming relief with his role a Galgo. It's always nice to see Harrison Ford emerge from his crypt to kick more ass. Just kidding, we love the guy! His character, Drummer, is a good replacement for Church, and he plays his role very convincingly. As opposed to so many thin, unbelievable Hollywood female action leads, UFC Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is believable as a genuine ass-kicking tough woman. This is essentially what she is in real life, though she is a little stiff with her line delivery since she's not really an actress. Mel Gibson is perfect for a villain like Stonebanks because he plays crazy well...maybe a little bit too fact, he might not be acting at all.

For a movie that is built on the idea of old, seemingly washed up action stars using old-school techniques for major ass-kicking with a side of stale and overused geriatric jokes in a world riddled with technology and new-age combat, Stallone and his friends might need to hang it up after this one. The shtick is getting redundant. There's not much they can do from here that hasn't already been done...oh, no, it looks like there's already a 4th installment of this franchise being pitched as we speak....we stand corrected. Regardless of the fact that this movie got leaked online a couple of weeks before it came out, we don't think it made that much of a difference as far as box office numbers are concerned because those people probably don't pay to see movies, anyways. It appears people are getting tired of the franchise as a whole. This, coupled with a PG-13 rating, will cause die-hard fans of blood squibbs and decapitations to be severely disappointed. If you take it for what it is, it's decent enough, but nothing we'd see again.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 35%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Identity Thief"

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