SYLVESTER STALLONE   JASON STATHAM   HARRISON FORD   ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER   MEL GIBSON   WESLEY SNIPES   DOLPH LUNDGREN   KELSEY GRAMMER   ANTONIO BANDERAS   KELLAN LUTZ   JET LI

THE EXPENDABLES 3

 ​It’s a sellout; Sylvester Stallone’s third installment to the grumpy old action men series decided to clean up the language and violence for a PG-13 rating in order to bring in a younger audience. Even Mel Gibson turned down the job to direct the film while Bruce Willis asked for so much money he knew Stallone would say no and he wouldn’t have to return (Willis is the only one who actually has a reputable career). The worst thing about The Expendables 3 is that it’s boring. If you haven’t seen the first two, however, there is not an inch of new ground here. Sure Gibson, Snipes and the “younger” Expendables bring new faces, but it’s the same on screen arguments, the same guns and predictable explosions and last minute getaways.

 ​Barney Ross (Stallone) has shaved his face and decided that he can’t live with his old crew getting killed. His latest mission is going after war criminal Stonebanks (Gibson), who is dealing in nuclear weapons overseas and almost critically wounded one of Ross’s men. Assigned a secret clearance by CIA ghost Drummer (Ford), Ross scouts a new, younger team all over the US with buddy Bonaparte (Grammer) to go in and take down Stonebanks. Soon Ross realizes he can’t function without his expendables family.

 ​Most of the action scenes are filled with such back-to-back chaos that you rarely have a second to even enjoy or catch what’s happening. The opening train/helicopter sequence failed to get any reaction from the audience and is a fairly good preface to what’s in store for the remainder of the film. Stallone, who helped write the script again, continues to elude to the original premise of doing these films in the first place with dialogue like “Hard to hear, but we are not the future anymore”. Lines about having a conscious and being moral make the heroes weak and close-ups of Gibson’s red face attempt to make him threatening and evil, but of course every time he has the chance to kill someone he gives them a way out.

 ​In one scene where the lives of his teammates are hanging in the balance with time being of the essence, Ross stops in the woods to have a heartfelt discussion with Banderas's character about what happened to his last team. The Expendables 3 has the longest running time yet and you feel it with the endless chase and fight sequences that failed to wow me and anyone else who has seen any other movie this year. The gritty nature of the first two films is lost and boredom sets in pretty early. Not that the other films were good, I disliked those too, but the significance is lost and the new has certainly worn off of throwing aged big name stars into one movie.

 Final Thought – Longer running time and a softer PG-13 rating make the 3rd installment even more boring and painful to watch.

 Grade D-

By: Dustin Chase