Sneaking in the movies: Expendables 3


We are fam-muh-lee… Wesley, Stallone, Arnold, Harrison, Lundgren, Randy, Kelsey, Terry, Jet Li, Jason, Rhonda, Glen P, Ortiz, Kellan, Mel G, and me!

What’s good Ohnawlins, it’s your complicatedly complexioned backseat screener Phenonymous Blak with another sneak treat review. And this time, we’re putting on some muscle.

The Expendables franchise was something I’m about 3 years too young to realize everyone wanted. These films have cost Lionsgate a total of about $300M to bring to the big screen and have earned every penny of it back with more than half a billion dollars grossed at the box office. The whole concept is one big joke that everyone is happily in on. Take all the washed up, acting challenged, action stars from the 80s and stick them in a film for one last Hoorah. Then do it again, and then again, but make sure you add a few new old dogs every time.

Funky Fact: The person who does the cinematography for these films actually worked on “Old Dogs”

The first film saw Arnold, Sylvester, Dolph, Jet Li, Statham and Micky Rourke. Fans were foaming at the mouth right up until its release date. Generally, critics bashed it because it’s not really a good film by their standards, just mindless eye crack candy. The second film got the formula right:

1. Drop the plot
2. Add Jean Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and Bruce Willis
3. Add more One Liners and Old Jokes
4. Make sure they never run out of ammo, knives, explosions and small evil villages to massacre.
5. Make it funny.

So clearly, the third film would completely capitalize on this formula and make the most amazing action hero packed Expendables film of all time. Just look at the names!

We are fam-muh-lee… Wesley, Stallone, Arnold, Harrison, Lundgren, Randy, Kelsey, Terry, Jet Li, Jason, Rhonda, Glen P, Ortiz, Kellan, Mel G, and me!

Just give these people someone to fight, something to shoot, something to blow up, and you’ve got the perfect action film. But sadly, that’s just not what happened. It was just too much going on with the story. They tried to make The Expendables turn into The Suspendables so they could be replaced by The Pretendables ,so even I started to feel like “I’m getting too old for this shit.”

The Expendables 3 is way too confident in its actors and that’s the biggest problem with this film. Instead of giving them things to kill, they give them more time to torture the audience with dialogue and endless plot development that goes absolutely nowhere. And there is just constant ball dropping. Two hours too often the film sets up these pretty basic, but pretty genius plots for the film to capitalize on and then, they don’t. The biggest one comes from a conversation between Statham and Stallone (who is the got-dayum director for mumbling out loud) about a “possible” scenario and what one would do for the other if it happened. That conversation happens in the very beginning of the film, and was perfect foreshadowing. Too bad it was unintentional.

The nerve of this film to ask me to turn my brain on; you don’t want that. Neither do I. Just riddle me with ridiculous violence and I’ll consider it an even exchange. Which brings up another point, why the hell is the film rated PG-13? And why does making a film PG-13 mean you can’t show the actual violence in a film that is about nothing but expendable bodies? Their rating is actually trying to cater to an audience who hadn’t even fertilized an egg before most of these dudes were semi-retired or governors. I need answers.

The production work here is the worst. There are countless well shot action scenes –you can see where the $90M went—that are just poorly chopped and edited. Every camera cuts away either right before or cuts to right after someone is punched, stabbed, body slammed, blown up, kicked, judo chopped, bazookaed, tanked, missiled, train crashed, car crashed, plain crashed, etc. I call it “Fill in the Blanks” shooting and it’s the new wave of terrible and close-up-meaning-too-close action shots in PG-13 films like Taken 2, and this mess. I watched Shredder slam a turtle into a wall like he was trying to knock the dust off him, but I can’t see Rhonda Rousey punch someone in the face? I need answers!

But! BUT! This film is not at all a total lost. For this one they added Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, and Antonio Banderas. Welsey Snipes won me over, because initially I found it extremely corny that they added him. But he was so dayum bad ass that I couldn’t even front on him. And he was funny. Mel Gibson went full Mel Gibson and was perfect as the villain. Antonio Banderas was the Jar Jar Binks of the Expendables, but in a good way, amazingly funny scenes. Harrison Ford showed up doing his best Clint Eastwood grizzly voice, looking like he’s losing his battle with petrification and it was some iced green tea greatness.

If you liked the first two films, you’re going to see this. You’ll probably like it for what it is. Just know it could be better. Just know I think they should do a 4th film, but with less plot and more action. Just know Rhonda Rousey is sexy as hell in Red but can’t act for shit and she made Gina Carano look like Meryl Streep.

Final Rating: 2 out of 5 “Get Tewduh Shoppers!


  1. Unckle_Ruckus says

    I balked when I saw the PG13. Thanks for the confirmation. But, the first one was the shyt!