Welcome back, people. Well, the 4th Of July is upon us. A joyous time of year and I am so excited. Next to Halloween and Christmas, Independance Day is my favorite holiday. It’s a time for fireworks and barbecues, to hang our flag high with pride as we celebrate the freedoms of this great nation. Unfortunately, no one has invited me to watch fireworks or come to any cookouts; so instead I’m just going to watch an Italian, an Englishman, an Asian, a Swede, an Austrian and a Spaniard blowing stuff up and shooting terrorists in the face.
Our founding fathers would be proud!
Ahh yes, ‘The Expendables’! For those of you who’ve been living under a pile of Julia Roberts movies for the last five years, ‘The Expendables’ franchise is basically the most stereotypical action movies you could possibly imagine. All the films from the 2010 film to the 2014 three-quel star an ensemble cast of some of the greatest action heroes of all time(with the exception of Bruce Campbell and David Sandberg). From 80s and 90s Action royalty like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to modern-day icons like Jason Statham and Jet Li as well as future stars like Kellan Lutz and UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey. You know…THIS Ronda Rousey!
I will shed no tear for the first fool that tries to cheat on that woman…
The story of ‘The Expendables’ franchise is as simple as an Action movie plot can get. A group of mercenaries killing bad guys…were you expecting more? Too bad. Occasionally, you’ll have the CIA in the mix but that’s pretty much it. So yeah, it’s not exactly ‘Citizen Kane’ or ‘The Third Man’ but it doesn’t try to be. ‘The Expendables’ movies may get mixed to negative reviews from some critics but one must remember that Action movies from the past were never critic darlings to begin with and that this particular genre is the purest form of escapism in filmmaking. So when you see John McClane and the Terminator exchanging one-liners, it’s best to just take it for what it is and have fun.
Ahh, glorious! Now, as I said before, there isn’t really that much of a plot in these movies. Good guys shoot random bad guys, the real bad guys screw with the good guys, good guys shoot back, good guys celebrate with a couple of beers, rinse and repeat. However, they actually do try to add just a bit more substinance to this 2 hour and 6 minute action scene. This time around, the gang has to go up against a new enemy…who just so happens to be a former Expendable who was believed to be dead.
This “Ex-Ex”-Pendable is Conrad Stonebanks, played by Mel Gibs-SIT…BACK…DOWN! Before you go charging into Mel Gibson’s house with picket signs, you gotta remember that you same people used to love him from ‘Braveheart’, ‘The Road Warrior’ and the ‘Lethal Weapon’ movies, well those movies are STILL good. Yes, Mel Gibson’s a sexist, he’s an anti-semite, he’s crazy, but he is anything but washed-up playing the villain in this movie. In other words…
Anyway, in order to take down the Expendables co-founder/ruthless arms dealer who literally knows the team better than anyone, our aging heroes now have to work with a new group of younger mercenaries to take care of Stonebanks once and for all. On paper, that sounds pretty damn awesome. The overall execution of the plot was handled pretty well. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that the plot is a very cliched-yet-effective shot at adding social commentary in an Action movie. Behind all the bullets and machismo, the movie tells the viewers that instead of trying to forget and replace the past or trying to mock and shun the possible future, we should be embracing the old as well as accepting the new.
At the same time, however…how come I only end up caring about 2 of the 4 new guys?
I don’t think much needs to be said about Ronda Rousey…although I am still going to remind you all that the woman is the new face of female empowerment who’s currently an undefeated champion, a Judo practitioner, she’s the first woman from the U.S. to win an Olympic medal in Judo and the fact that her very beauty is arguably considered a submission maneuver. But then there’s John Smilee played by Kellan Lutz. Whereas I was excited to see Luna; Rousey’s character, I was not excited to see that one guy who arm-wrestled Kristen Stewart…AND LOST!
Needless to say, but I was truly expecting this guy to be completely out of his league next to much manlier men who probably punch out ‘Twilight’ cast members as part of their workout routines. So I was pretty surprised that Kellan Lutz was able to hold his own in this movie and I can understand why the man is slowly beginning to make a name for himself. As far as the other guys? They weren’t bad, they just didn’t feel that important or memorable to me. Oh, I apologize! I almost forgot there were three other new cast members in this installment. Antonio Banderas, Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes…need I say more?!? Those three were great in this movie, and prove that they still got it!
If there is one other thing in this movie that needed more work, it would be the fight scene between Stallone and Gibson at the end. Not to say that the fight was horrible, but it’s nowhere near as entertaining as the fight scene between Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme in ‘Expendables 2’ which JCVD also choreographed.
Now, as far as action movies go, I highly recommend this one to any fan of Action films. Especially, if you’re a fan of the last two movies. To any naysayers out there, please don’t let the PG-13 rating scare you off. If a film can be good without F-bombs and nudity, then it doesn’t need F-bombs and nudity. So trust me, ‘Expendables 3’ is good. So pop this sucker in, raise your glass and continue to kick some ass. EVERYONE of us is Expendable!
Videos & Photos:
The Expendables 1, 2 & 3(owned by Lionsgate, Millennium Films & Nu Image)
Street Fighter(owned by Universal Pictures & Capcom)
Key & Peele(owned by Comedy Central, Cindylou, Monkeypaw Productions, & Martel & Roberts Productions)
Don’t Be A Menace…(owned by Miramax Films, Ivory Way Productions & Island Pictures)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2(owned by Summit Entertainment, Sunswept Entertainment & Temple Hill Entertainment)
Desperado(owned by Columbia Pictures & Los Hooligans Productions a.k.a Troublemaker Studios)
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope(owned by Disney, 20th Century Fox & LucasFilm Ltd.)
Blade(owned by Marvel Studios, New Line Cinema, Amen Ra Films & Imaginary Forces)
Shinedown’s Diamond Eyes(Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom) (owned by Brent Smith, Dave Bassett & Atlantic Records)