I thoroughly enjoyed the first two films in the franchise. With their over the top violence, action sequences and cheesy humor, I loved the sheer entertainment value of “The Expendables” and “The Expendables 2.” They released the trailer for the third movie, and it pretty much just told the audience the cast. I wasn’t excited to see “The Expendables 3,” but I was confident the movie would have that same entertainment value. What I didn’t realize was the “R” rating got dialed down to “PG-13,” and the third installment changed its winning formula to create a dull action film.
“The Expendables 3” started off pretty solid. Much like James Bond, it jumped right into an opening action sequence. However, the third installment hit a turning point early in the film. This is a bit of a spoiler, but it happens early in the film. Mel Gibson’s character shoots Terry Crews. In the first two movies, I love the Terry Crews’ character. He is arguably the most entertaining character in the entire franchise.
Unfortunately, he ends up in the hospital for about 80% of “The Expendables 3.” Then Stallone retires his entire team that we have grown to love in favor of a younger crew. I don’t think Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell were particularly bad as the sidekicks to Stallone, but I didn’t go to see them. I went to see Terry Crews, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes and other older action stars. Instead, we only see these actors for 50% of the film.
This movie also tried to have more of a plot, which for almost any other film would be a good thing. However, the plot inserted wasn’t even interesting or succinct. Again, I will continue to reiterate. Why the change?
The only bright light of the film was Mel Gibson. I think he works very well as the villain, and I love him as an actor, despite his off-screen issues. I would love to see him get back on the scene as an actor and a director.
THE BOTTOM LINE: “The Expendables 3” veers from the successful formula of the first two films, and creates a disappointing third installment that may kill off the franchise.
I’ll give “The Expendables 3” 1 1/2 out of 5 cups:
As of Aug. 19, “The Expendables 3” made a domestic total of approximately $19 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
To see the movie trailer for “The Expendables 3,” click here.