By Craig Singleton (Wigan, England)
“Jing-a-ling, jing-a-ling!” This film pained me watching it. It pained me more than watching Jake LaMotta take on Rocky 30 years well past their prime when they should be picking up their bus passes and their pension (Grudge Match). It’s like no, no, no, no, no, no… The Expendables’ stars built their careers by making adult action films that were very violent and bloody, but making this so kids can see it feels so wrong.
Let’s start with the plot. Okay, Barney Ross and his mates enlist former member Doctor Death played by Wesley Snipes to intercept bombs being sent to a warlord in Somalia only to find out the man behind it is Conrad Stonebanks, played by Mel Gibson who co-founded the Expendables and now tries to destroy them when they interfere with his evil plans.
Firstly, positive here (only one), Mel Gibson was the joy in this CGI explosive mess. He had just the right menace and coolness to his character which Eric Roberts and JCVD did not, so props to Mel. He needed a good role and it looked like he really enjoyed being in the film.
As the plot goes on Barney realises he needs some new blood to help take down Conrad, which is a load of bull! His pals are the ones who help him out of trouble when he needs it most so for him to dump them for younger, fitter, future action stars (even though most of them are terrible at acting, even worse than Arnie) is such a horrible thing to do. Shame on you Barney!
Now, due to the PG-13/12A rating, the action scenes are less violent and way over-edited so it made it difficult for me to enjoy and the film is just lazy to me. The first film granted had CGI blood effects, but at least it had real or least real-looking explosions. The visuals effects were straight out of a B-MOVIE, not as bad as Birdemic though but what is? In films like Commando and Rambo there were some good practical effects to make the action and the blood and other things to make it as real as possible. In The Expendables 3, not a lot looked real at all.
It’s popular by people who can just sit down, relax and switch off their brain like I did with the first film, and even the second one (mostly), but I couldn’t with this one. My brain was alive and kicking. I noticed too many things that took away my enjoyment. I don’t hate it, just really, really, really dislike it.
My score for the films is 45%. Lowest mark for plot, highest for pacing. The washed out violent and backing away from the franchise’s original purpose, it’s a disappointing outing for these guys. Also Antonio Banderas was annoying as f**k.