Review: The Expendables 3
It’s been a few years now since the release of the first Expendables film and I feel that I must preface this review of the thrid installment with my thoughts on the first. In theory The Expendables is the coolest action movie that ever existed. On paper the idea of collecting the best action stars of the 80’s and 90’s and getting them together for one huge adventure is just plain awesome.
But full disclosure is in order here. I didn’t like the movie, hell I would even say that I hated it. It was stupid. The big names attached to the movie were phoning it in collecting a paycheck and winking at the camera like they were all in on some big joke. I disliked the first one so much that I skipped the second one. I still haven’t watched it. This in top of the fact that I could not stand the marketing soured me on the franchise. “Too much testosterone for one movie” and “your wives and girlfriends will get pregnant just watching” is beyond lame. However despite not removing anyone from the rotation they added some more big names that really caught my interest.
Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, and of course the man himself Mel Gibson came into the picture with the Expendables 3 and they were enough to grab my attention. The movie starts out with the gang lead be Stallone to a prison where they break an original member of the Expendables free. This original Expendable is Wesley Snipes. It’s an ok action sequence that is a little to polished with cgi effects.
After the big rescue sequence Snipes character is asked why he was locked and and he responds in the most saracastic time “Tax Evasion”. To those of you who may not know Snipes career was put on hold because he was charged with tax evasion and served time in prison. His career hasn’t bounced back yet, and despite being a great action star and a pioneer of comic book films I don’t see him ever taking lead roles again. Especially if what we can expect from him is what we see here in EX3.
The tax evasion joke happens minutes into the movie and exemplifies just why these movies are just truly awful. You have a collection of seasoned veteran actors and all you give is is lazy acting and fourth wall nonsense. Nothing is done with guys like Harrison Ford or Snipes beyond half assed line delivery and winking at the audience.
Yes I get that you are on screen because you used to be in movies. I don’t care about your references. How about you develop a story and progress some plot. Speaking of plot progression there is none offered in this film at all. Instead a series of poorly edited segments with Stallone and his action stars of yester year making Deapoolesque nonsense jokes that eventually lead to the end sequence of the movie.
The one saving grace of this film is Mel Gibson. Mel gives and very interesting and almost powerful performance. He is the once actor on screen who isn’t playing himself in the Expendables, but the villain of the Expendables. There aren;t any jokes about jews or booze. There aren’t any Road Warrior cracks about Mad Max. Just a badass villain with a purpose and sick antics.
I am told that Van Damme worked his ass off in the sequel as the villain and really steals the movie. And Steve Austin was also really good in the first one. The one thing these movies seems to do right is the villains and Mel captures that essence and takes it to a whole new level.
I disliked this movie, I hate this franchise, but I am telling you to watch this movie for no other reason than a really great performance from a really great actor in Mel Gibson. You’ll hate the rest of the movie, at least you should hate it, but you’re gonna love Mel.