Cinema Review – The Expendables 3

This time out, ‘the Expendables’ have their biggest fight yet on their hands; the co-founder of the team – Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) – has become a ruthless arms dealer who has sworn to take down the team he helped to create. The first Expendables movie was a nice little curiosity; the old team back together, or rather, a lot of actors who are getting on years, teaming up to fight the bad guys. This time out, the novelty factor has gone, however, and what is left is tonally confusing and often cringe worthy. Stallone has written the third Expendables outing, and it is obvious that he is incredibly attached to the project. So much so, in fact, that it feels as though his performance belongs in a different film than the rest of the cast; Schindler’s List? Maybe. The rest of the team seem to know that the film is a ridiculous 1960s Bond rip-off, and layer their performances as such. Standouts have to be Mel Gibson – who delivers ridiculous threats with aplomb – and Antonio Banderas, who is just as fast talking and zany as he is in real life. The story is nothing new, exciting or anything to write home about. Stallone’s screenplay borrows from the great action movies of the past, and throws in tons of terrible quips, real life details about the actors – Snipes’ character jokes that he was in prison for tax evasion – and what feels like hours of exposition. As well as this, the stage is very much set for a reboot of the series with the younger actors. Expendables Babies seems to be on the way. Ugh. As director, Patrick Hughes seems to have been intimidated by his cast, and the entire process of making the film. Most of the performances are entirely one note, plot holes abound and the editing is a mess. There are plenty of set pieces though, filled with explosions, fearless fights and supremely silly stunts. In all, Expendables 3 is a hot mess. The dialogue is more exposition than anything else, the editing is a mess and the film seems utterly unnecessary. A sequel is sure to be announced any day now. Sigh. Rating: 1/5

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