Expendables 3 (2014) - Theatrical Release Aug 17, 2014 17:17:48 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Aug 17, 2014 17:17:48 GMT -5
Retro action. Finally, an Expendables movie that really seems like it could have come from the 80's. Almost.
The first two Expendables movies were enjoyable for what they were - a nod to the over the top action movies of the 80's and 90's. The scripts and direction were passable, the actors competent, and the action was violent and over the top. The second movie developed a bit of a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that bordered on camp, but didn't quite cross that border.
For The Expendables 3 the acting ante has been upped. Mel Gibson came aboard as the villain, and he definitely shows that he can be a great actor. Harrison Ford replaces Bruce Willis as the mercenary group's CIA contact, but his performance is merely passable. Antonio Banderas, on the other hand, does a great job as the movie's comic relief. He gives a wild performance just oozing personality. And, of course, you've got the usual crew led by Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham, both of whom do well in these kinds of roles.
But there is also a group of younger would be action stars who also show up, definitely giving the movie some modern day sensibilities. When briefed on Stallone's plan to capture a bad guy, one of the young group says, "That would be a great plan - in 1985!"
Really, there's not a lot to review here. There are action sequences and set ups for action sequences. And a series of scenes where Stallone is trying to put together a new group of Expendables with the help of Kelsey Grammer (who is also quite good). That's about it. The plot is fairly simple (Mel is the bad guy - go get him and bring him back alive for trial on charges of war crimes), so what it comes down to is the action, the acting, and the direction.
The acting we've covered. The action sequences are very, very good. And the direction? Pretty good. The movie looks good except for the cheap CGI. In fact, this movie was obviously shot very quickly and on a tight budget. The CGI is less than state of the art, and the locations are just interesting enough to hold the film together from a visual standpoint. And yet the movie is still a lot of fun. The humor works well, and the action is exciting.
Stallone looks like a man 20 years younger than his 67 years. He is a marvel of modern physical fitness. And the chemistry he has with Jason Statham is good. Too bad there's a stretch in the middle of the movie without Statham and the rest of the long time Expendables. Even so, the movie works well and succeeds in the way that Stallone and the other producers had hoped.
The Expendables 3 is an entertaining, over the top action movie. If that's your kind of thing, it's definitely worth watching. If not? Not so much...