The Expendables are back! Sly, Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren. And of course, Jet Li shows up toward the end to complete the cast!
It’s the same crew, the same feel and flow and pretty much the same type of movie as the last two. There’s nothing really different about this film and it doesn’t really add any different to the franchise.
But they didn’t need to!
We’re not here for academy awards and a new level of expressive story telling, we want to see the heroes of our childhood blow shit up, shoot and bash the crap out of each other. The Expendables!
In this film the Expendables rescue an old imprisoned member of their team from before recorded history (the first film) – a strange and funny character named Doc, played by Wesley Snipes.
After they rescue Doc, they’re straight into a new mission, no stuffing around, just hitting the ground running with 2 action sequences. Unfortunately they encounter the Expendables equivalent of Darth Vader, a former Expendable turned to the Dark side named Stonebanks.
Stonebanks is their surprise arch nemesis who was thought to be dead, instead he alive, making billions and prving to be a pain in the ass nearly killing Hale Caesar in their first encounter. Worried about losing his friends, Barney Ross (that’s Stallone), fires his friends and hires bunch of kids to get killed instead (?).
Ross and Trench (Arnie) take the new group of youngsters to capture Stonebanks but things go bad and the young crew end up being held hostage. Naturally the old crew get back together and go to rescue the youngsters from their most dangerous enemy yet! Oh the suspense! lol
It’s role call time for the old skool heroes to emerge onto the scene – of course there’s Wesley Snipes who makes his Expendable debut as Doc, Mel Gibson as the bad guy whilst Antonio Banderas plays a friend hungry mercenary and Harrison Ford takes over for Bruce Willis as the Government contact.
The reason they replaced Christmas was because Bruce Willis wanted$1 Million dollars a day to be on set. I’d say giving Willis the finger was a smart move, Han Solo is where it’s at!
Then there’s the younger generation coming in: Kellan Lutz, Glen Powell, Professional boxer Victor Ortiz and female MMA champ Ronda Rousey step in to spice things up.
This is nothing new but an expected step in the Expendables franchise it’s all about mixing up the cast and getting the biggest names into the movie. With the the above actors playing action roles in the past or being legitimate professional fighters, Expendables 3 does a good job of bringing authenticity to what is supposedly the most dangerous mercenaries in the world.
So how was it?
Like I said earlier, a lot of fun but nothing new.
The whole breaking up of the Expendables is as unoriginal a plot idea as any and was bound to be used in one of their movies. The second Sly hires his new crew you just know shit is going to go wrong and the old crew will step in and save the day.
I remember reading that Stallone wanted to bring a level of action that compared to The Raid into this third film. I won’t lie, the Raid is a far superior film but this movie does do an excellent job of upgrading the action form the previous films and does include a few small flashes of martial arts as it did previously.
I couldn’t help but find the final finale being a hat tip to the Raid, as the Expendables were trapped in a tower, surrounded and under attack trying to escape – it’s a similar concept and the ‘trouble around every corner’ style of action seemed to elevate the excitement a little.
The whole finale sequence has such a variety of action and stunts that you can’t help but be sucked into it. Every actor gets involved to some degree and they put in an intense effort to make this movie the most exciting of the franchise.
A testament to their efforts – Statham was nearly killed in a truck driving stunt which landed the truck into some thick mud. Luckily Stallone is an Olympic level diver and was able get out safety! This level of danger and commitment shows why these guys are still in the game!
Who was the most outstanding?
I gotta say a few things about some of the people in this film!
Wesley Snipes’ character Doc proves to be hilariously strange at the beginning of the film, even trying to pass himself off as the superior knife man to Statham’s character Christmas – calling himself the ‘Knife before Christmas’! His whole persona and even the physical skill he brings to the role is well balanced and quite refreshing.
Oh, and Snipes’ character Doc explains why he was locked up – for “Tax Evasion”, a poke at why Wesley Snipes spent a few years in prison until recently.
Antonio Banderas brings a memorable persona to his character also. He’s the ‘Expendable’ version of that lonely kid at school. He’s overly positive, friendly and optimistic – but has no friends and won’t stop trying to win you over with his constant stories.
He, like Snipes, made me laugh quite a bit in this film and I think he was a bit of a comic relief more than anything, played well though.
Finally, Ronda Rousey is the reason this movie even gets the attention of any martial art movie fan. Not only is she a dominant UFC world champion, but she has the ability to bring some absolutely stunning martial arts to the big screen. She’s easy on the eyes too though 😉
In this film she throws the best kicks, punches and elbows out of anyone, showing off the speed and intensity of her short bursts of precise violence.
However, it wasn’t the strikes I liked but her ability to make ground work look awesome on screen. When Rousey takes someone down she puts her own spin on the movement ending in an armbar of some other kind of submission which just looks smooth and fantastic. She needs to do more of these fight scenes!
Overall though, the martial arts end of things did come up short. Rousey’s movements stood out the most to me but other than that you got a couple of nice kicks and moves from Wesley Snipes and that’s about it. Nothing for Jet Li besides a couple of gun shots!
Not a great martial arts film but a really fun general action film worth a watch for any fan of the handful of names mentioned above. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out and enjoy some explosions!
If you seen it already – let me know what you thought. Leave a comment below!