Expendables 3

24 Aug

 I’ve just returned from seeing Expendables 3 and contrary to what most critics said who panned it unmercifully, my wife, friend and I all loved it. The rag tag team of mercenaries consisting of Jason Statham as Lee Christmas: The team’s knife expert, Jet Li as Yin Yang: A hand-to-hand combat expert and former Expendable, Dolph Lundgren as Gunner Jensen: Volatile member of the team, Randy Couture as Toll Road: The team’s demolitions expert, Terry Crews as Hale Caesar: The Expendables’ barrel-weapons specialist, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Trench Mauser: Barney’s former teammate and sometimes rival headed by Sylvestor Stallone are back this time after a ruthless arms dealer  believed to be dead played  with abandon and for all its’ worth by Mel Gibson. The entire film takes place and is filmed in Bulgaria.

It seems Stallones’s character Barney Ross and Gibson’s character Conrad Stonebanks both started the Expendables as a mercenary team. Ross and Stonebanks had a falling out over who should run the team and how so they parted ways and Stonebanks went to the dark side and became an arms dealer selling nukes and other munitions to rogue countries.

As with all Expendable movies this one features an A-list of macho guest stars aiding and abetting the team. In the opening scenes the team executes an elaborate escape of one of their former members, Doctor Death: A former medic, and one of the original Expendables played by Wesley Snipes from a prison. It is ironic that they had Wesley Snipes escape from prison since the actor just finished serving a three year prison term for tax evasion.

They recruit him to assist them in intercepting a shipment of bombs meant to be delivered to a warlord in Somalia. Arriving there, they reunite with Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), who directs them to the drop point, where Ross is surprised to find out that the arms trader providing the bombs is Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who co-founded the Expendables, but later betrayed the team to profit off of illegal weapons dealing, and was since believed to be dead. In the ensuing firefight, the Expendables are forced to retreat due to Stonebanks’ men’s advanced weaponry, and Caesar is severely injured in the process.

Blaming himself, Ross leaves for Las Vegas, where he enlists retired mercenary Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer) to help him find younger, mercenaries to join the team. The recruits include ex-Marine John Smilee (Kellan Lutz), nightclub bouncer Luna (Ronda Rousey), computer expert Thorn (Glen Powell) and weapons expert Mars (Victor Ortiz). Skilled sharpshooter Galgo (Antonio Banderas) advocates to be included in the team, but Ross turns him down. Ross later reconsiders and Banderas joins the team as a fast talking never shutting up obnoxious member who the other team all comically roll their eyes at whenever he opens his mouth. I read that Stallone said he wants to have a younger expendable team to carry on when they retire.

The new team rendezvous with CIA operative Max Drummer (Harrison Ford), the Expendables’ missions manager, and Ross’ rival Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who have traced Stonebanks to Romania, where he is set to make a deal with another arms trader.

The new team is exceptionally good and likable contrary to what most critics have said. Ronda Rousey is exceptionally good as the no nonsense winner take all  bouncer of a club  who takes on any man and wins  leaving with a sarcastic remark to her victims. Rousey in real life is a fighter in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and filmed her role while training to defend her title in the UFC. She is also as attractive as she is dangerous.

Harrison Ford makes an appearance as Max Drummer: A CIA field operations officer and pilot who manages the Expendables and recruits the team to go after Stonebanks and bring him back alive.

What follows is a rip-roaring series of touch and go between Gibson’s team and Stallone’s team consisting of the usual rapid fire gunning, shoot-ups and massive explosions. There are also the usual humorous one liners to break up the tension which fans always enjoy.

I particularly enjoyed a scene at the end when Stallone and Gibson face off against each other one on one and Gibson says to him “You should have turned me into the Hague Barney when you had the chance.”

Barney’s reply is typically Stallone “I AM THE HAGUE!!” Without giving it away you can imagine what happens.

There are several reasons why I think in my humble opinion only why this version got panned so horribly. First of all critics don’t go for action flicks with macho guys in it preferring more dramatic, romantic flicks no matter how amusing and good characterizations they are. Secondly and this is my opinion only most of the Expendable characters are conservative such as Stallone, Swartzeneggar, Dolph Lungren, Randy Couture and Kelsey Grammer  and most critics are media liberal hacks. Critics are also against Mel Gibson because of his recently drunken outburst and anti-semetic rantings besides him being a conservative. According to Wikepedia The Expendables 3 was released in August 15, 2014 in the United States and earned $875,000 during its late night Thursday screenings from 2200 locations. It did better than it predecessors The Expendables ($870,000) and The Expendables 2 ($685,000). However, its first showing was at 7 P.M., whereas the previous films had their first showings at midnight.[59] It earned $5.9 million on its first day. It fell well below the $13 million opening day ofThe Expendables and $10 million opening day of The Expendables 2.[60] The film grossed $5.7 million on its second day and $4.2 million on its third day for a three day total of $15.8 million compared to The Expendables 2 which made $28.6 million in three days. A major reason considered for this loss in ticket sales is because the film leaked three weeks ahead of its release however, since most downloads were outside the US, if every downloading American paid to see the movie it would have made only an additional $4 million.

Bruce Wilis was supposed to return for this  film from his role in Expendables 2, but he wanted a million dollars a day for five days work so  Stallone told him “No way.” I’ve read that there is a 4th Expendables movie in the works, but I think they should stop here. Stallone and Swartzeneggar are getting too old for these parts now and should quit while they are ahead. Maybe the fourth film will be more of the new team. We’ll just have to wait and see.

In spite of what they say Expendables 3 is a good action movie and Mel Gibson is a great villain here. Check out Expendables 3 and the trailer below. ;).


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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Uncategorized


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