Sunday, August 17, 2014

Movie Review Expendables 3: Why does this have bad reviews? (Spoilers warning!)

 Now don't get me wrong, personally I think that this is the weakest of the Expendables movies so far, but at first I thought it just seemed to be the continuing trend of the critics that the first movie had, some go in expecting Hamlet and just get a tin of expired spam, while others accept it as the great last hurrah of the action stars of the 80's, with some more modern action icons along for the ride and get a fresh perfectly cooked pork lollipops. However after seeing it, well, I don't know it just feels like something was missing. Whatever, not everyone has to like the same thing, but this entry in the trilogy is defenitly the weakest as I will explain.

 Now I do like the plot "shutter" plots in an action movie I'm off to a fantastic start. This installment starts off with Barney and his happy family gives a great big hug and a C4 laden kiss from them to a Russian prisoner transport train. There they rescue one of the original Expendables, Doc played by Wesley Snipes who had been stuck in a Russian prison for a few years after a botched job. But before the team can bring Blade back to the good ol' US of A they just need to take out an arms dealer on the way back. However it turns out it wasn't any old dealer they were dealing with it was...
Hell do you want Sugar tits?
Yeah, well if I saw Mel Gibson I probably would freak out a little bit myself, what with me being half Jewish and all. But it turns out that Stonebanks (Mel's character) was actually one of the original founders of the Expendables team alongside Barney and Doc and was responsible for getting the other two killed ( who I personally think were Reb Brown and Pierre Kirby.) So Barney tries to kill Stonebanks, he messes up, Caesar nearly gets killed,
Caesar, not, in this, movie, LIAR!!!!
No not that Caesar, Terry Crews' character, gets near fatality shot and then Barney considers the obvious, he and his boys aren't getting any younger and tells them to get on with their lives while he forms a new younger team to take down Stonebanks. Now I'm not going into a hissy fit over the R to PG-13 rating, frankly it didn't seem less bloody then the previous installments but there was just something in this movie that didn't sit right with me, and that is tied into one of the movies' two themes that I actually do like. See one of the themes of this movie, in my interpretation is the concept of legacy, generational gaps and accepting old age. Now be fore warned this goes into a bit of Spoiler territory so if you haven't seen this movie I want you to turn back right now, go see the movie (preferably see the first two beforehand) then come back.
I think so, so anyway one of the plot points of the story is Barney realizing that he and his crew just might be too old for this life, so he recruits four younger hard-cases to help him take down Gibson. During his interactions with the new crew they still maintain professional attitudes during their mission but also bring modern sensibilities to the table, convincing Barney not to go with a "Charge in, guns blazing" approach when they know where Gibson is going to be, instead deciding to hack the security system of the building the target is conducting his next deal in so that they can execute a stealth approach. Also during the final act both generations of Expendables face off against Mel Gibsons army ( I'm assuming you've seen the movie so you know what I'm talking about, those who didn't and read anyway SHAME!) both groups held off a force that would have destroyed the original crew on their own. Kinda like when the Pre 2011 JLA teamed up with the JSA, old heroes and younger heroes being able to kick ass harder then on their own. In the end we see that the new guys have the same Tattoos that Barney and the old crew have, a sign that they are truly part of the team, this along with a line by Christmas about Barney looking like a proud, insane dad, further supported this theme with me and made this movie have a bit more to it then the usual brand of awesome this franchise has. However what conflicts me and what I think is the central problem is that three of the five new guys are just so bland they blend into the background almost as badly as Randy Couture and they mostly drag this movie down for me, aside from the one guy hacking I could hardly tell what the last two had to bring to the table other then bringing cool techno guns. But what really clinched it for me is that we have to leave behind the rest of the old guys, the main reason why we go to see these movies until the third act, which makes this movie weaker in my eyes then the rest of the franchise. However the only bright spots from the new meat is UFC fighter Ronda Rousey playing Luna, because her fight scenes are awesome and you can tell she's doing her own stunts, and Antonio Banderas' Galgo, though he does teeter between being funny and annoying with me. While he is funny, the problem is that unless he's being stealthy he doesn't know when to shut his gob.
Now on to the other theme I saw in this movie, how far does one go before being taken over by the dark side? The villain, Stonebanks was one of the original five who then decided that he wanted to move up the food chain. During the scene where Barney confronts Stonebanks in the getaway truck after they captured him, he asks Barney what the difference is between the two? They both have killed lots of people, have seen a fair chunk of their comrades die and yet one is a death dealer while the other is a weary old solder who doesn't know when to die. What was it exactly that separates the two? Stonebanks says that it was Barney's conscience that got the others killed trying to stop him, is it that simple?
Aren't you thinking about this too much s***head?
Eh possibly, but then again this is my brain and you're just a guest here. Speaking of trigger happy nut-jobs let's focus on Mel, he really does come off like a pretty damn despicable bad guy, continuing the trend left by Van Dame from last time. They both come off as intimidating psychopaths that could kill you just by looking at you. He really does look like he's enjoying himself and helps carry the slack of this movie for me. Harrison Ford pretty much fills the part that Bruce Willis left behind. Although Drummer does come off as less of a dick then Church, actually having a stake in taking down Stonebanks since two of his agents were killed by him.
 In a nut shell if you've seen any other movies in this franchise and liked them you should come away with just as much 80's throwback nonsense as the others, and hey, look at it this way this should tide you over if you've seen Guardians of the Galaxy or you can use this as an excuse to get out of seeing Michael Bay's TMNT.

The Expendables 3 is property of Nu Image, Millennium Films and Lionsgate, based on characters
by David Callaha.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is owned by 20th Century Fox

Black Lagoon is owned by Rei Hiroe, Sunao Katabuchi, Madman Entertainment, Viz Media, Madhouse, Universal Australia and Funimation Entertainment