How far are you willing to go to protect your friends? In August 2014, Barney decided the best way to keep them safe, was to make sure they weren't around.
Directing this 127 minute action/adventure/thriller is Patrick Hughes.
Blowing up the screen is: Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross, Jason Statham as Lee Christmas, Dolph Lundgren as Gunner Jensen, Terry Crews as Hale Caesar, Randy Couture as Toll Road, Jet Li as Yin Yang, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Trench, Antonio Banderas as Galgo, Wesley Snipes as Doc, Harrison Ford as Max Drummer, Kelsey Grammer as Bonaparte, Ronda Rousey as Luna, Kellan Lutz as Smilee, Glen Powell as Thron/Wifi, Victor Ortiz as Mars, and Mel Gibson as Conrad Stonebanks.
This time the mission brings the Expendables team face to face with someone from their past. Someone Barney would love to see stopped for good. Yet, Barney knows just how dangerous this man can be. So,
instead of putting his friends lives on the line, he decides to let the team go and hire a new squad of individuals to take on this deadly mission. With a whole new and younger crew, Barney is ready to make Conrad pay for what he did... or is he?
Like a lot of people, I've been a fan of the stars in the Expendables for a long time. I grew up watching Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Lundgren kick ass and blow things up. So when the first Expendables (2010) came out I was super stoked about it. You get a fist full of action stars tearing it up together. What made this project cool was no one was trying to out-do each other, they brought all their old plugs and tag lines to the table for the audience to have fun with. Each film has continued on that same path of bringing playful humor, action stars and tons of things blowing up. Win!
So after Stallone came up with the story, he was then joined by Creighton Rothernberger and Katrin Benedikt. Together, the three writers sat down and came up with the screenplay for the film. This time around the storyline puts the characters that Dave Callaham came up with through the ringer. Yeah, it's a lot like the last two films. Some big bad evil guy needs to be stopped and only the Expendables have the talent... and the armory to do the job... right. Now one of the things that caught me was this story is a little more serious than the other two films. Not a lot, but you can feel a switch over from the extra cheesy to a bit more straight edged action flick. This could be the beginning of the franchise switching over giving the Expendables more longevity. If that were the case, now any action star could possibly become an Expendable and fuel an unlimited number of titles. Which could be cool I guess, depending on the cast.
The playthrough was cool and it held my attention. Then again, big fiery explosions tend to help with that. Now, it does slow down a bit around the middle, but it more than makes up for it when the action scenes take off again. Peter Menzies Jr. did a fantastic job on the cinematography.
As for the special effects... a lot of things blow up, and it looked cool! So thank you pyrotechnician, Orlin Budinov for all the things you blew up to make this war zone fueled flick so explosive.
Now, I thought the cast did a great job, but for me, the standout role has to go to Banderas for his character Galgo. Banderas was cracking me up as he went on in the film, but you also feel kind of bad for him at the same time. Next would be Gibson, he makes a great bad guy! Also, for this one being MMA (mixed martial arts) star Rousey's film debut I thought she was pretty good and definitely held her own with the guys. Side note, it was good to see prison life hadn't slowed Snipes down and that he can fall right back into the pocket of the action films and still do his thing. One of the things that irked me was that Jet Li is in the cast line up... but is only in the movie for a t-o-t-a-l of maybe twenty minutes. Why? No clue! That two second appearance was what was wrong with the second movie, but hey lets do it again. Least we can say Li was in it right? Maybe we'll see him do something more in the next one... but I won't hold my breath for it. Anyway, other than that you've got the same all-star cast performance from the other films.
I will say that the Expendable franchise has built a solid fan base, which is a no brainer really. We're talking about taking a mixing pot and throwing together all of the fans from all of these different stars. That kind of fan base pays for the movie before you know it. Then add in the people that just like to see things blow up... bonus ticket sales! The Expendables 2 (2012) movie was budgeted at 100 million, unlike this one that was budgeted at 90 million. The last time I looked, Expendables 2 made around 311 million in the box office. So you can see why they keep making them, and why they're already working on doing a fourth installment.
Overall, if you're an Expendable fan then hurry up and jump into the closest theater and catch this one. I won't say it's the best of the series, but it's still just as good. Making it worth the cash and time to catch it.
PG-13 for violence and language.