August 16, 2014

"We were close once, we started this whole Expendables thing together but... we had a falling out."
The Expendables has always been this : a group of aging bulletproof men who fire at (almost) everything, dodge every bullets and explosions, and still manage to keep it low-tech and smile proudly at last. The last two predecessors opted to adopt the same formula; classic action stars doing impossible stunt meaninglessly and unfortunately, both ended up with the same old problems. As people often say : the third is a charm; The Expendables 3 comes with bigger cast and bloodless PG-13, making it even more "unbelievable". Is it?

After Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his remaining team consists of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Caesar (Terry Crews) and Toll Road (Randy Couture) rescue former Expendables member Doc (Wesley Snipes) from jail, they all then continue their journey to take down an arm dealer as instructed by CIA handler Drummer (Harrison Ford). Little that Barney knows, the dealer turns out to be Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), an ex-Expendables who went bad and whom Barney thought he has killed. After the raid went ugly and almost killed a member of his team, Barney decides to wave the old team goodbye. With the help of his colleague Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer), he then starts assembling a new team consists of younger and more tech-savvy members : Thorn (Glen Powell), Mars (Victor Ortiz), Luna (Ronda Rousey) and Smilee (Kellan Lutz). Then go Barney and his newly formed team, to once again to take down Stonebanks for good. That, until the event turns out to be exactly what we thought it would be.

Stallone, his co-writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, and his director Patrick Hughes have done nothing to fix that very problem I brought up on the first paragraph above. The Expendables 3 still faces the same problems as the other two predecessors; meaningless action lies solely on its overwhelming amount of underdeveloped characters (and now even merrier) with flat expressions and tired stunts. Although it runs in quite steady pace, this movie feels overlong and incredibly tired. And It's not exactly passing the torch, as at the end, everyone will just sit soundly, waiting for the old team to come back, team up and save the day.

I have no comment on the old cast, as well as the additional ones. Except that Mel Gibson deserves to have more scenes, Snipe should stop showing off and Antonio Banderas who played Galgo might have just saved the day...

Finally said, The Expendables 3 is just another continuity of whatever it is they want the installment to be. It's like botox gone wrong. Rental.

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