The Expendables 3 – Is Star Power Enough?

Expendables-3-castEven with the most recognized names in Hollywood, some movies fall short. Written by Creighton Rothenberger, Sylvester Stallone, and Katrin Benedikt, and directed by Patrick Hughes, The Expendables 3 is an action film and third sequel to the Expendables film series. For star power, this movie boasts incredible talent from actors like Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammar, Harrison Ford, Victor Ortiz, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Antonio Banderas, and many others.

The storyline involves a major conflict between a group of mercenaries known as “The Expendables” and Conrad Stonebanks, the group’s co-founder but also a dangerous arms dealer. Recognizing that his team is being defeated, numbers are dwindling, and his personal vendetta toward Stonebanks could get his team seriously hurt, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) decides to hire much younger mercenaries.

While there is plenty of action in The Expendables 3, a lot of sequences are not memorable. Although the movie is cast with actors known for their toughness and brutality, few scenes were shot with them together. This creates disconnect between the mega stars and the movie’s PG-13 rating. Even so, many critics feel this is the best of the three movies.

In defense of The Expendables 3, the movie was written and filmed to be entertaining, not something criticized but there are still too many lackluster scenes that drag it down. One example is a particular scene in which a train is speeding down the tracks, a helicopter racing above, and bullets flying everywhere. Onboard the helicopter is the Expendables whose mission it is to save a prisoner on the train (played by Wesley Snipes). Miraculously, the prisoner jumps to safety simultaneously with a massive explosion. It is all too clear that stunt doubles were used, thanks to their wide angle shots coupled with tight close-ups of the actors.

Other criticism of the movie…with literally thousands of bullets flying, the Expendables are never bloody and the huge explosions void of flying debris are unrealistic. The bottom line – there are people who enjoy this type of movie, especially a film with so many great actors but for the most part, critics feel The Expendables 3, which opens August 15, will likely disappoint.