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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Jason Statham
Jet Li
Antonio Banderas
Wesley Snipes
Dolph Lundgren
Mel Gibson
Harrison Ford
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Kellan Lutz
Terry Crews
Kelsey Grammer
Ronda Rousey
Robert Davi
Sylvester Stallone.
Directors
Patrick Hughes.
Screenwriters
Sylvester Stallone
Creighton Rothenberger
Katrin Benedikt.
Running Time
126 minutes

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The Expendables 3
War is Mel!


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Plot
After sacking the old squad, Barney Ross (Stallone) recruits a new team to capture weapons dealer Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson) – a former Expendable hell-bent on wiping out Barney’s mercenaries...


Review
The Expendables 3
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When you have a very spare minute, check out the posters for The Expendables 1 to 3. They say a lot about the evolution of the retro franchise. Poster 1: minimal background, nine members, all scowling. Poster 2: huge explosion, eleven members, still scowling. Poster 3? /Sixteen/ members, squeezed in like a marketing world record attempt, no scowls, all grinning. It’s looks like an action greetings card for Happy Man Day. Most telling of all, though, is that 12A certificate in the corner. Mass murder... for all the family!

The Expendables’ tactic has always been brutally simple: it points a grenade launcher at an ‘80s video store; we watch as the clichés explode out. Without the gratuitous gore and inventive swearing, all part of its 18-rated excess, what we have now is action with the safety latch on - everything explodes, nobody dies, and there’s a haunted feeling you’ve dialled The A Team by mistake.

In fact, this feels less like homage than an unapologetic action revival, aping the Marvel model with four younger recruits and the promise of a Next Gen spin-off. Given he fathered the franchise, Stallone’s new role as a reluctant surrogate-dad fits, but apart from some hi-tech subterfuge, the new batch, led by Kellen Lutz, are more The Dispensibles – no legacy to trade off, and deserted by direlogue, they have the combined personality of a firing range target. The one with the sunglasses.

What this episode has, and the others didn’t, is an adversary to match Stallone’s crew. If Mel Gibson’s idea of redemption is brazenly embracing his outcast image, let’s see more of it. Gibson doesn’t just play a villain – he’s a hero gone rogue (sound familiar?) and his malicious charisma jumps the film into life. Good job too, as the entire plot amounts to little more than Mel vs. The Expendables.

As the for the new additions, expect little more than a fustercluck of extended cameos. Antonio Banderas’ cocky mercenary skips off with every scene but spare a thought for poor old Harrison Ford, lumbered here as The Explainable, thanklessly barking out exposition until he’s finally thrown the keys to a helicopter. Ford does all his action sitting down, possibly in his slippers.

The Expendables are like a cactus toilet seat – they don’t take shit from anyone – but here’s the thing. Blowing its wad pre-credits with a merrily preposterous prison-train breakout, there’s not one action beat that sticks. In fact, the warzone finale, set in a booby-trapped building, is just a grander, grungier variation on the standard warehouse shootout. It’s a weird truism of action cinema that too many climaxes make an anti-climax. That, in a bombshell, is Expendables 3.

Still, simple pleasures. Stallone gets the stupidest zinger since, “Diplomatic immunity”, Arnie yells, “Get to the chopper!” and there’s the extraordinary sight of Dolph Lungren leaning against a tree and accidentally merging into the scenery. In The Expendables’ new 12A world, jeopardy’s taken a holiday– there’s no threat, or fear, or even much adrenalin. Just a big, dumb display of bulging alpha-male action. Best get your retro rocks off while you can – we’re perilously close to The E Team.


Verdict
The Expendables 3 has its cake and shoots it: armed to the nipples with vast action and bulging A-listers, but over-over-blown and overcrowded. See it for Gibson’s big-bad.


Reviewed by Simon Crook

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Expendables 3
Empire Star Rating

RE: The Expendables 3

If you have been a great fan of Stallone , Schwarzenegger , Mel-Gibson , Statham then you might enjoy the film otherwise the screenplay has nothing new to offer. Few scenes were entertaining with punching dialogues ... good action sequences ... good story line !! Unfortunately , it is just a time-pass. ... More

Posted by Durryahei at 20:14, 25 February 2015 | Report This Post


RE: Thoroughly enjoyable, mainly due to Mel Gibson's badass-ary.

For me this movie is amazing but the funny part is with Anthonio Banderas, he looks like an idiot...but funny as well. ews ... More

Posted by Rodham at 07:14, 14 October 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Action-fuelled fun, missing a little something to stand above the rest.

From my point of view, the movie had nothing to offer ... More

Posted by GamObs at 10:17, 26 August 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Action-fuelled fun, missing a little something to stand above the rest.

L: Hood_Man This was my favourite of the three by an absolute mile. thing it was made by people who actually knew how to direct action sceneshey were mostly edited at a much faster pace as well. Also, Mel Gibson is the villain that films 1 and 2 desperately needed. He wasn't great by any means, but at least he chewed the scenery and seemed like a match for the heroes. However... they really shouldn't have split the team up. It was pointlessly generic, and everybody knew the ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 11:17, 25 August 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Wham, bam; Thank you Han...

L: jonson L: TheMightyBlackout 'The Expendables 3' is the Lynx Africa of action movies; ot that it makes any sense but that should be on the poster /quote] ... More

Posted by rich at 00:49, 25 August 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Action-fuelled fun, missing a little something to stand above the rest.

This was my favourite of the three by an absolute mile. For one thing it was made by people who actually knew how to direct action scenes, and they were mostly edited at a much faster pace as well. Also, Mel Gibson is the villain that films 1 and 2 desperately needed. He wasn't great by any means, but at least he chewed the scenery and seemed like a match for the heroes. However... they really shouldn't have split the team up. It was pointlessly generic, and everybody knew the "old... More

Posted by Hood_Man at 00:23, 25 August 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Wham, bam; Thank you Han...

L: TheMightyBlackout 'The Expendables 3' is the Lynx Africa of action movies; ot that it makes any sense but that should be on the poster s for the film, great fun, it always was going to be. Expendables 3 is the Hai Karate Soap on a Rope of action movies. That reassuring nostalgic smell glosses over the fact it's a bit hard and brittle and falls off the rope well before you've finished using it, then eventually blocks your shower waste and leaves you with just the rope, water c... More

Posted by jonson at 08:07, 15 August 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Terrible movie and surprised at empires praise.

I didn't go in with high expectations, so there were no surprises for me. I still found it entertaining despite it's many flaws. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by romet6 at 22:41, 11 August 2014 | Report This Post



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