"The Expendables 3" just might be the first film script written completely in catchphrases.
I imagine there are pages of detailed explanations of elaborate action sequences capped off with quick, off-handed quips from one of the 15 action stars -- make it 16 if you count Kelsey Grammer. And I mean no disrespect to the writers of this fun film -- star Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt -- as it's a quick, action-packed series of insane battle sequences.
For those of you coming into the third "Expendables" movie not having seen the first two flicks, I say to you: You're missing out on two fun films, but you don't need to know anything coming in here.
The movie opens with -- what else? -- an action sequence. Stallone's Barney Ross is manning a helicopter while his teammates (Jason Statham, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren) drop down into a moving train to rescue a prisoner, Doc (Wesley Snipes), who's an old member of the Expendables. After a big boom, they're off to the next mission.
The drama here comes from the discovery that Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who co-founded the Expendables with Barney, is alive and an arms dealer being pursed by the government for war crimes. And he tries to kill one of the Barney's men.
So what's an old, grizzled soldier to do? He fires his team and enlists Boneparte (Grammer, bringing the laughs) to help him put together a team of young bucks with a death wish. People with whom he doesn't have an emotional attachment. Roll call: Smilee (Kellan Lutz), Luna (Ronda Rousey), Mars (Victor Ortiz) and Thorn (Glen Powell).
But old soldiers never die (thought they do get written out, like Bruce Willis' Church. "He's out of the picture," says Harrison Ford's Drummer), and his old crew won't abandon their leader, either. They're also joined by another veteran soldier, Galgo, played by Antonio Banderas, who nearly steals the show here with his babbling, soulful former Spanish Armed Forces soldier.
"The Expendables 3" is a film about old men in a young men's world. And since an old man made this film, the young punks have a lot to learn from the previous generation (though the veterans get a lesson in modern technology). This isn't Shakespeare, people. This is a film about glorified warfare featuring people who look like they know what they're talking about, throwing out funny lines to lighten to mood. Taken for what it is, "Expendables" is anything but.
The Expendables 3
Directed by Patrick Hughes
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford