Saturday, August 16, 2014

In Theatres: The Expendables 3 (2014)

"If something works, you stick with it!"----Maxwell House coffee catchphrase from the 70's, spoken by actress Margaret Hamilton.

I'd venture a guess and say that Sylvester Stallone subscribes to that particular homily. After all, he's nurtured two previous movie franchises in "Rocky" (1976-2006) and "Rambo" (1983-2005), and now is doing the same with a third, "The Expendables", which began in 2010.

The third installment of this series sees Stallone is running out of contemporary action heroes of the 70's, 80's, & 90's. Although I've read of a possible 4th movie in the series, I doubt that it'll actually happen, unless Stallone has to swallow a little crow and reach into television history from the same period, unless he's convinced to stay the course after this film inevitably makes the same obscene amount of money at the box office.

As the film begins, the team welcomes an old friend in Doc (Wesley Snipes, in his first film since being released from prison), and just in time, too. On a routine mission, Caesar (Terry Crews) is shot, and winds up in the hospital. Worse, it turns out that another former teammate, long thought dead, is responsible. That man, one Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), is now a ruthless arms dealer with a taste for abstract artwork.

Back at home, Barney Ross (Stallone) decides to break up the team, which doesn't sit well with Christmas (Jason Statham), Doc, Gunner (Dolph Lundgren), & Toll Road (Randy Couture). Instead, Ross, taking orders from a new government contact, Drummer (Harrison Ford), to bring down Stonebanks, and bring him back alive (good luck with that) skews young, taking on a weapons expert (boxer Victor Ortiz), a rebel (Kellen Lutz, "Twilight"), a computer ace/adrenaline junkie (Glen Powell), and the first female Expendable, a bar hostess/bouncer (MMA darling Ronda Rousey). Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is along for the ride again, and Yang (Jet Li) returns, after being reduced to a quick cameo in the last film. Added to this motley crew is an overly chatty mercenary, Galgo (Antonio Banderas), who quickly comes off as being slightly more than comedy relief. The new recruits, save for Galgo, are the result of Ross getting advice from Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer), who's a sort of talent agent for the merc set.

Unfortunately, the first mission for the new Expendables leads to near disaster. Stonebanks is captured way too easily, and with good reason. He has a tracking device that allows his men to follow and rescue him, in turn capturing the kids, and leaving Barney to die in the rapids.

That's where Galgo enters the picture. Drummer gets in on the action, realizing the only way he can deliver Stonebanks is if he can physically help capture him. Yang resurfaces at the side of Trench, his new boss. I think you can figure out the rest.

Bad timing on my part resulted in missing the trailers and the first few minutes of the movie. It's been a long time since I did that. Turns out I didn't miss much in terms of the movie. Anyway, here's the trailer:

Rating: B+.

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