The Expendables 3

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Wesley Snipes, Randy Couture, Kellan Lutz, Mel Gibson, Ronda Rousey, Antonio Banderas, Arnold Schwarzengger, Harrison Ford, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell, Kelsey Grammer

Directed By: Patrick Hughes

I gotta say it hit my nostalgic bone to hear Arnold say “Get To The Choppa!” I’ve been a small fan of The Expendables franchise. I never thought the movies were crap, and The Expendables 3 gives pretty much the same experience as the first two, with just a little less gore. Instead of gore, we get wisecracking Antonio Banderas, Harrison Ford, and Wesley Snipes joking about Tax Evasion.

The only cast addition I groan at is Ronda Rousey, who really just needed some more acting classes. I know we’ve got Randy Couture and Victor Ortiz, but Rousey is at a whole different level of bad acting. With all the female actresses out there known for kicking ass (Milla Jovovich? Michelle Rodriguez?) I can’t help but believe her casting was unnecessary.

Mixing in a new crew with the old crew is effective, but I always am disappointed when they marginalize franchise regulars in favor of new cast members. Terry Crews is benched for most of the film, and Jet Li doesn’t come into play until near the end, and really on;y briefly. That being said, Banderas really is at the top of his game here. He and Snipes really breathe life into the franchise at a time when they clearly need it.

I know that this third film is probably the last Expendables we’ll see, and I’m a little disappointed. I actually enjoy seeing these old guys kick ass, and there seems to be a never ending treasure trove of people they can draft into the series. Even Mel Gibson is great as the villain.

The film is bogged down a bit by the lack of action in the first two thirds of the movie, but the final act is pretty terrific. It felt like the least action packed entry in the series, yet it also felt like the most fun. The chemistry in this group is what makes the film fun. Most of these guys don’t get serious film offers anymore, so I’m sure they’re just happy to be working. If you liked the first two Expendables, I’m sure you’ll have fun again with this one.

FINAL GRADE: B

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