I enjoyed the first two movies, but The Expendables 3 is the weakest of series. Joining the Expendables crew are Antonio Banderas (who stole the movie), Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammer, Harrison Ford, and Mel Gibson plays the villain very well.
The story is tropeish. The old crew is getting too old to keep The Expendables going, and they get their ass handed to them by Mel Gibson. Therefore, Stallone, hires a bunch of young hotheads to go after Gibson. The young pups get captures and the old crew needs to go in and save them. By the end of the movie, there are just too many characters to think about, much less, care about. The young hotheads are invisible to the established stars. And the old crew is sidelined to get more screen time for the new guest stars. We hardly had a peep out of Lundgren. And it seemed like Statham’s lines were to complain about Stallone. The story was needlessly complicated with too many characters.
Even The Expendables 3 couldn’t keep out the narcissistic feminism either. One of the new hotheads is a woman who specializes as a sniper. Because guns are the ultimate equalizer and having a woman specialize as a sniper is much more believable than having her specialize in close quarters combat. Wait… I must have mixed that up because she *did* specialize in close quarters combat. Close quarters combat in heels even. Because fighting in heels is very necessary. To add to this groan-worthy montage of ‘You go grrrrl’ feminism would be the two eye-rolling moments when she utters a derisive “Men.” after she beats up several guys with magic Kung Fu moves borrowed from Blackwidow’s playbook in the Iron Man movies. Let’s throw in a pathetic father-daughter moment where She-Hulk lectures Barney (Stallone) about the-people-I-fight-with-are-my-family and we complete our trifecta of pathetic. Having her teach Barney about the importance of family is like me trying to teach a Navy SEAL some jiu-jistu techniques. It’s just another attempt to take a masculine leaning movie and adding a horrible female character to teach men what is really important. I’m quite sure these brothers-in-arms have that figured out already. Her character and attempts to have character felt out of place and tacked on to the script.
While She-Hulk didn’t add anything to the movie. Antonio Banderas mixed Puss-in-Boots with death wish tenancies and gave the audience a lot of much needed comic relief. Banderas steels every scene he’s in with his over the top antics and non-stop, fast talking, Spaniard accent. He could have been in The Expendables series from the beginning.
Following up on VanDamme’s excellent villain play in the second movie, Gibson does very well as a crazy villain. Snipes is a good addition to the team, but he doesn’t get enough screen time. Grammer’s character of a recruitment officer has too much screen time. In these movies, if you don’t blow shit up, you shouldn’t get a lot of lines. Schwarzenegger gets to say, “Get to the choppa!”, and Harrison Ford does the I-wear-a-suit-but-everyone-knows-not-to-mess with-me very well, but he cannot do walking-away-and-looking-badass. Of course, he is 72, so I’m not holding that against him.
There shouldn’t be an Expendables 4. I don’t think the series could be salvaged from this. That’s too bad too. I really enjoyed the first two movies. And adding Kurt Russell, Pierce Brosnan, or Keifer Sutherland, would have been fun to watch. Along with more Snipes and Banderas (of course).
There were just too many characters in The Expendables 3 to have a cohesive movie. The established characters of the series moved aside for new characters that don’t add anything to the story. The plot wasn’t overly complicated, but it sure felt like it, and that brought the rest of the movie down. The only reason I’ll have The Expendables 3 on my Plex server is I enjoyed the first two movies and I’m a little obsessive.