Sly Stallone and his merry band of action legends return for another instalment in the testosterone-fuelled Expendables series. This time around the threat takes the form of Expendable-turned-war criminal Conrad Stonebanks, and our bus pass wielding heroes are tasked to take him down.
Proving to be an exception to the rule, The Expendables is a franchise that is getting better with each film; this third outing being the most enjoyable and well constructed one so far.
It’s far from perfect, but with its tongue in cheek humour and the cast seemingly in on the joke (perhaps that’s why they look so happy on the poster), it gets away with terrible dialogue (“I’ll tear open your meat shirt and show you your heart..”). Add to that the self-references, such as Wesley Snipes’ character and tax evasion, and the film doesn’t take itself seriously at all.
The addition of Snipes as well as Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas (who steals the show) and Mel Gibson, who brings his unique brand of crazy to his villainous role, breathes life into proceedings. Barney Ross recruiting a younger group of talented killers makes for an interesting slant to the narrative too.
Taking the directorial reigns, Patrick Hughes gives the film a much needed face lift, with his detailed eye for action sequences and handsome visual style. Considering he’s in line for the American re-make of Indonesian actioner The Raid gives me some hope, and I think he brings a certain amount of class to this film.
Jam-packed with explosions, bullets and fist fights, The Expendables 3 does exactly what you’d expect it to. It’s nostalgic fun with big action sequences, guaranteeing you a silly and entertaining time at the cinema as long as you leave your brain at home.
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