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Genre – Action
Run Time – minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Awards – 4 Nominations & 1 Wins
Amazon – £3.00 DVD £6.00Blue Ray
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I think its fair to say that the Sly Stallone Expendables project was a great idea for a film franchise, a retro tongue-in-cheek treat of the biggest 80s action heroes on screen altogether, adding another one to each film the topping, Wesley Snipes the new gun in EX3. Why wouldn’t we want to watch that! You name it they are here, and any action star that was missed out (or already offered a spot) sure to be in Expendables 4, in production right now. Some have turned down a place in the movie, some egos wanting bigger parts, others wanting more money. Bruce Willis was set to reprise his role of Mr. Church from the first two films at a salary of $3 million ($750,000 per day for four consecutive days). When he demanded $1 million per day instead, Sylvester Stallone and the producers refused, and he left the film. Within three days of that greediness, producer and director Stallone was able to get Harrison Ford on board to play Church. Stallone offered a supporting role to Jackie Chan and Steven Segal for this one but both declined cameos. It’s not so much a place in The Action Hall of Fame to be in this franchise but a bloody good pay packet.
The Expendables (18) – Budget $82 million did $274m
Expendables 2(15) – Budget $100m $305m
Expendables 3(P12) – Budget $90 million $217m
The first and superior movie was an 18 certificate but the number snot as high as the studio expected and so the second film a not so violent 15 and then this one a 12 to get a younger crowd in. The Expendables simply didn’t appeal to young people who only know the actors as old farts, just 34% of the audience under 40. It was nearly curtains for Expendables 3 as far as that gross when the film was somehow leaked online for overseas downloads, 189,000 times in the first 24 hours after the leak. It could well have been a PR stunt but a very risky one. A lot of people watch the big new movies online for free and it’s hard to control once online.
Sylvester Stallone ... Barney Ross
Jason Statham ... Lee Christmas
Harrison Ford ... Drummer
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Trench
Mel Gibson ... Stonebanks
Wesley Snipes ... Doc
Dolph Lundgren ... Gunner Jensen
Randy Couture ... Toll Road
Terry Crews ... Caesar
Kelsey Grammer ... Bonaparte
Glen Powell ... Thorn
Antonio Banderas ... Galgo
Victor Ortiz ... Mars
Ronda Rousey ... Luna
Kellan Lutz ... Smilee
After another big mission abroad set up by Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to extract knives specialist Dr Death (Wesley Snipes), Barney Ross (Stallone) and his mercenary team are compromised on the next mission in Somalia by ex Expendables number two Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), and one of Ross’s top guys, Caesar (Terry Crews), ends up seriously injured. Ross has lost men before but on the plane back to base he decides enough’s enough and disbands the current Expendables crew as he knows he is getting too emotionally connected to his team and they will have to go their own way as he intends to build a new team. Senior members Lee Christmas (Statham), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) and Toll Road (Randy Couture) are not happy but the call has been made.
Good men are hard to find but with the help of recruiter Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer) the fresh roar team is quickly put together, weapons man Mars (Victor Ortiz), sexy pub bouncer Luna (Ronda Rousey), brooding ex marine Smilee (Kellan Lutz) and explosives man Thorn (Glen Powell) in place. But when CIA man Drummer (Harrison Ford) informs Ross that Stonebanks is in Romania the new team is saddled up and head out to Europe for revenge. But the old team is not going to miss out on this one as the score is settled once and for all.
An Expendables movie is a lot like going to watch the Rolling Stones. You know the songs they are going to play, they have just enough energy to just about gyrate their hips and the crowd as old as they are and so in awe that they are still rocking to bring back the fans younger years. You really can’t complain if you wanted anything different. The point of the Expendables is it does exactly what it says on the can of whoopass. Ok, a lot of the heavy weaponry and explosives seemed to be aimed at the script and more plotholes than potholes by the end of it but its all good fun and just about gets away with it as far as entertainment goes. You didn’t want the great action trilogies of the 1980s to be realistic and same again here. The important thing is its entertaining. Ok, it doesn’t have the humor and structure for a classic nuts and bolts action thrillers and this one is falling apart like the buildings blown up in every other scene as those nuts and bolts come undone but still dumb fun.
As you would expect there are lots of in-jokes and references to those old movies and a bit of pi**taking around Wesley Snipes unpaid taxes and Bruce Willis wage demands etc. These are huge movie legends and going to try and out do each other at every moment of screentime and enjoying themselves with their Hollywood cigars and buddy chest bumping, Arnold Schwarzenegger having the biggest stoogie of all. But sometimes you shouldn’t put the band back together and this franchise has run its course.
The action is deliciously and deliberately over-the-top and the lines are as cheesy and ham as a burger at Planet Hollywood. But the actors still have that charismas that made them famous and so you go along with it although Arnie looking out of place in the genre these days. You can imagine as much steroids as the dynamite was used in the movie to get everyone in shape. Don’t complain if you rent or buy this film.
Imdb.com –6.1 /10.0 (35.157votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 32% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 35% critic’s approval
Blue Ray was made for action movies and if I can rent or buy cheaply for a movie on Blue Ray I will. It’s much better all round action movie experience. There are lots of locations and explosive action for Blue Ray to exploit and the sound and pyrotechnics on their game here. Because it’s Blue Ray there are lots of extras on the disc to justify the extra price tag.
-Behind the Scenes: The Expendables-
A surprising amount of the cast take part in talking about their film.
-Deleted & Extended Scenes-
Quite a few of them as scenery is chewed.
This is nota comic boo but they seem to think it qualifies so plenty of storyboard art work.
Quite funny to be fair as the boys play rough and bungle their lines.
Red carpet stuff.
The NY Post –‘Its most interesting lines are on the foreheads of its stars, more than ever imbuing the film with the kind of world weariness that can't be faked’.
The Mail-‘The action pieces are huge and impressive but it's all bang and no flash - that is, it's about explosions rather than exposition. You won't learn anything about the nuances of acting or the futility of war, but you may get a headache’.
Independent –‘Stallone is the square-jawed hero. Gibson is the square-jawed villain -- and that's about as much story as we get’.
Scene Stealers –‘There are no surprises to be found here. The Expendables 3 is exactly what you'd think it is-a disappointing mish-mash of a throwback, trading in on its star power, with its eye safely fixed on producing more sequels
Rolling Stone –‘The Expendables 3, trading on our affection for action stars of the past, has officially worn out its already shaky welcome’.
Memphis Times –‘A particularly flavorless serving of flaccid beef jerky and brine-cured ham’.
The Sun –‘The characters in the film are somewhat engaging, but the action scenes are almost as incomprehensible as the plot.