Sunday, August 24, 2014

Expendables 3 (2014)

Having enjoyed the first two Expendables movies, of course I had to see the third.  And I loved it.  I'm not sure if I like 2 or 3 better.  Both have things I like about them.

The biggest flaw for me in the third one is that Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) recruits some new Expendables to take on a mission.  It's all in an effort to keep his friends alive, which is a cool plot point and all, except for one thing.  I don't go to an Expendables movie to see newcomers.  I mean, duh?  I'm here to spend time with the actors I grew up with, as the first two movies have set them up:  to be smart asses while taking out scores of bad guys and blowing things up.  So I was a bit meh for awhile... but then turns out, that time with the young set actually pays off, when the big finale kicks things back into high gear.  And I actually found myself liking the newcomers... couldn't tell you the characters' names, except for Luna, but none of them were annoying, they did snazzy things, and they could hold their own.  I particularly enjoyed how (spoilers!!) they throw out Stallone's plan and re-engineer the capture of the bad guy with the use of high tech gear instead of brute force -- and it gets pulled off flawlessly.  That was cool.  The movie doesn't put them there to show they're amateurs, just that they're the new generation and have a different way of going about things.  It's a nice contrast to how the original Expendables team attacks head-first, and a dead-on reminder of how the world has changed from 1985 to current.

Mel Gibson is the bad guy this go around, playing a former Expendables, now an arms dealer wanted for war crimes.  He is perfect in the role, and he pretty much stole all his scenes.  "If you want something done right..."  I loved the final showdown between him and Stallone, how it wasn't dragged out forever, and I like how the fight ended (and it was different enough from the Van Damme fight in 2 to keep me happy).

But the best part of this movie, hands down, is Antonio Banderas as Galgo.  I haven't laughed so frequently and so loudly in what feels like forever.  His character was so unexpectedly hilarious. It is entirely possible I laughed every single time he opened his mouth.  Not joking.  I was not expecting him to be funny, which in turn just made it even funnier.

I was quite pleased with Harrison Ford too.  He seemed to be having a great time in his action scenes, and for the first time in years, he was back to acting like the sassy Harrison Ford I grew up loving.  He also had quite a few lines that made laugh out loud, particularly his inability to understand Jason Statham's character.  At the end, when he says, "I haven't had so much fun in ages," I felt like that was Ford himself talking, not just his character.

As with the last film, Jet Li gets next to no screen time, but it's still fun to see him, even for a few minutes.  I loved Arnold again, and he has a bigger role this time.  Wesley Snipes and Kelsey Grammer were great to have along as well.  All these actors feel like old friends, and I simply enjoy spending time with them.


  1. This sounds like a fun movie. I suppose I could overlook Mel Gibson (not a big fan of his since his scandals and am hesitant to see any new movies with him).

    Are there any "Terminator" catchphrases? In the last movie I thought there were too many instances of people saying "I'll be back".

    1. Nope, no Terminator catchphrases this time. You do get a Predator line from Arnold that's pretty funny.