Cinematic Releases: The Expendables 3

The latest in the line of Expendables flicks hits theaters tonight with a resounding thud.

"Hi. We're here for the orgy.
Who brought the guns?"
Plane. Check. Guns. Check. Muscles. Check. Dialogue. What's that?

The first Expendables movie was big dumb fun that relied on a old dogs doing the same old tricks. The only difference was that they were doing it together. It brought numerous action icons together and let them play in the same sandbox. Despite their age, the movie was still minimally fun and allowed Stallone to flex his action muscles again. The Expendables 2 upped the cheese factor while vanquishing all good qualities of the first with horrendous cameos and a plot probably written by a 12 year old. 

Actually, I'll be honest here. I despised both movies and thought they were two of the worst action movies ever released to cinemas. 

So, going in to Expendables 3 with an open mind was hard. In fact, the idea of even trying turned my stomach. These are legendary action stars that brought sheer joy to my childhood and here they are destroying their own legacies with a series of movies that do nothing but tarnish what was once good albeit far from perfect. 

It's hard to fathom how anyone could actually sit through nearly two hours of bad unrealistic action sequence after bad unrealistic action sequence and still have the capacity for more abuse. So, I took one for the team.

"Okay. I've got it in my sights....
There it goes. My career is shot."

There's one saving grace to this movie. His name is Mel Gibson. After years of being on the outs with Hollywood due to his anti-semitic remarks and crazed behavior, Gibson comes back with a villainous role that could actually be his way back in to the hearts of studios and fans alike. Yeah, probably not. But either way, Gibson returns with perfect form in Expendables 3. His performance takes this extremely standard plot and makes it mildly watchable. Harrison Ford is also a notable exception with his minor part. He's good but just a shade of former characters he's already played. Perhaps that's the key though. Almost all the characters in these movies are some rendition of something they've done in the past. 

"They say youth sells tickets.
Take my Hercules movie for instance."
As a whole, The Expendables 3 is just as bad as the other two. It's hard to estimate any difference or varying degree on something that has no heart or soul. It's even harder when the movie writes off half the "Expendables" just to introduce a younger cast in an effort to capture a more youthful audience. The PG-13 rating doesn't help either. Part 3 is less violent, less profane, but just as big and dumb. This is The Expendables on steroids: big shiny flexing muscles but no balls whatsoever. 

If you want to spend some money on pumped up dudes with guns trying to impress each other for two hours, this is the movie for you. And if you've ever wondered how a former action icon grasps for invisible straws trying to recreate his youth, see this movie. The Expendables 3 is just more of the same with a cherry on top called Mel Gibson. It's too bad about his personal issues because he's still a GREAT actor.

-Chris George