I was going into The Expendables 3 wanting one simple thing: good action. And that’s exactly what I got, with a few bumps along the way.
I did have a genuinely good time watching The Expendables 3, having no knowledge of the previous two movies, but just because I had a good time doesn’t make it a good movie.
First let’s talk about the dozens and dozens of cast members, because c’mon, that’s why you’re watching this movie. That teaser trailer with, like, 30 names popping up on screen is a joke. All those people are in the movie, but it isn’t about all of these people. An example is Terry Crews: he’s in about 4 minutes of the entire movie. False advertising right there, so let’s talk about the cast members that matter. Leading it off is Sylvester Stallone and, yeah, he was functional in the movie, sure. Did he seem really generic because of how old he’s gotten? Of course. Then we have Jason Statham and his role was kind of interesting, he’s like the second in command, but still he’s just a name. And there’s this team of younger expendables in this one too. There’s this one cyber-savvy guy who was really cool (and probably meant to be played by Chris Evans) but he was a really neat character. The other young ones though, they felt unnecessary and really weren’t good actors. And then we have Antonio Banderas in this movie and oh my God! I don’t know what character from what cartoon Antonio Banderas was trying to play, but he needs to stop! They set it up at the end for him to become some kind of a leader on the team, and I’m sitting in my seat going, “nope!” He annoyed me so much, he would not. Stop. Talking. And Wesley Snipes was in the movie, kind of. All of these characters (except Stallone) have such uneven screen time. Like Wesley Snipes was built up as a main character in the first 20 minutes, and you get the feeling he’s going to be extremely relevant, but then he just kinda says good-bye for 45 minutes. Um, alright? Then, I gotta touch on these two! Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwartzenegger. Harrison Ford looked like he was sleep-deprived, as in he hadn’t slept for two weeks straight before production of this movie. Then Arnold, holy God! I didn’t see the first two Expendables, but Arnold in this movie was taking his part way too seriously! He was in three or four scenes and was supposed to be cool, but ended up just being the comic relief the movie lacked. I remember a few months ago everybody was saying how terrible Mel Gibson would be in this movie, well let me tell you guys, Mel Gibson is probably the best part of the movie. He’s menacing and has a good character story that I wish was developed more.
Which leads me to my next point. I recognize that this movie isn’t trying to be Dallas Buyers Club or anything, but it could deal with its characters a little bit. My point here: other than Stallone’s character Barney and Statham’s character Christmas, name any of the other names of any of the other characters in this movie. I challenge you. See? You’re just saying, oh there’s Harrison Ford! I recognize that this movie is supposed to be a fun action movie and kind of parody itself, but it’s creating these characters that we’re supposed to care about, but ultimately don’t. My point: did anyone watching this movie worry for a second that any of the characters was in any kind of danger whatsoever? You know that Sly and the other writers will get them out of it. Without any major spoilers, a character in this movie is shot in the heart twice and still lives. Point proven.
And then the editing of the movie was an issue at first, that went away as it progressed. As I’m sure you all know, The Expendables 3 was rated PG-13 instead of R, which the past two were rated. There was a lot of violence in this movie and a lot of times you’re thinking, “that scene was originally a half-second longer.” It feels like the movie was shot as R, and then edited down to a PG-13. I doubt it was, but that’s what it feels like.
Then there’s the end of the movie, which I’ll discuss spoiler-free. The last half hour-ish of the movie is one action scene after another, which– okay, cool. But at a point, it’s getting excessive. It took me out of the movie for a couple minutes and I was thinking, “the end part of this movie should have been 15-20 minutes shorter.” And the final quarter feels like a video-game! I thought Edge of Tomorrow felt like a video-game, but a really cool one that translated well to the big screen. This movie feels like just your average game. Really look at the final quarter and you’ll agree with me. There are people jumping from one impossible obstacle to another, you’re avoiding bullets, doing dirt bike tricks. I swear to God, there is even a boss battle at the end.
The movie does have positives though. As I said, I really liked Mel Gibson as the villain and I think the action was shot extremely well. I thought this movie was much better than Ninja Turtles and Transformers 4, since it provided a lot of really cool entertainment. But the issue is: you can’t make an 80’s-esque action movie in 2014. The movie has a lot of enjoyable parts, but I wouldn’t recommend paying to see. Definitely catch it on TNT or something in a couple years. Cuz we all know it will be there, as it was rated PG-13…
So guys, those are my thoughts on The Expendables 3. Have you seen Expendables 3, or more importantly, who do you think would make an awesome Expendable or Expendabelle? Let me know in the comments down below! And as always, thanks for reading guys.