Director: Patrick Hughes
Writers: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Kelsey Grammer, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronda Rousey, Dolph Lundgren, Wesley Snipes, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Antonio Banderas, Victor Ortiz, Harrison Ford
Studio: Lionsgate

“The Expendables 3″ is an exercise in how not to breathe life into a franchise continuation. While there is a sustained fascination with watching older men smack each other around, Stallone seems very desperate to keep new talent involved in the production. Even if that means getting Terry Crews out of the movie almost as fast as he shows up. But, Stallone is a guy that saw the scripts for every Rocky sequel and thought they were good enough. This film isn’t Rocky V bad, but the level of error is still onscreen.

Stallone is an auteur having to take a backseat to up-and-comer Patrick Hughes. While there are a ton of concessions made on this film, I still feel that we got an Expendables adventure on par with the first two movies. There are too many character introduced in a short span of time. Banderas’s Galgo and Grammer’s Bonaparte get the most time onscreen to work through eccentricities, but all they do is serve as more support for Stallone. While this is an ensemble piece, everyone serves a purpose for Stallone’s character and very few get anything resembling equal billing. If you’re going to the film to see people get kick punched and buildings explode, that won’t matter.

Many will be quick to blame piracy for this film’s failure. The film will fail due to its inability to balance the demands of the modern era with a loving appreciation for the classics. All three of “The Expendables” movies serve as nothing more than vanity pieces for Stallone and his heyday. It would be like if you’re creepy uncle paid his buddies to keep re-enacting the All Valley 1984 Karate Championship, so that he could stay in the moment where he won his Silver Medal. Dude cinema and men on a mission movies still have a place. They just need better creative leaders.


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