This is the first time that I have been able to watch an Expendables movie in the cinema, having watched both of the previous films this year on DVD. I was certainly excited to see this movie on the big screen, with its ever expanding cast and ridiculous action there isn’t really anything else like it out there.
So lets start with the cast. All of our favourites return to this film; Arnie, Stallone, Statham etc however there is one noticeable absence. Bruce Willis does not return to play Church, as he did in the first two movies. I am not certain but I think there were disagreements behind the camera that lead to this, possible money issues. Anyway the way in which the film deals with this was quite brilliant, subtlety mocking Willis, ‘Church is out of the picture’. Now there are few who could adequately replace Willis however possibly the only action star who could was obtained for this film, Harrison Ford. He was great in this role and he does a better job than Willis ever managed in the last two movies. Along with Ford the other newbies include Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes and Kelsey Grammer. None of these are really personal favourites of mine however they contribute well to the action. Snipes is the centre of the first scene which sees a breakout from a train which was a great start. Banderas provides much of the humour for this outing and Grammer doesn’t have much to do but was a nice touch.
As well as these vintage action stars The Expendables 3 sees Barney (Stallone) recruit a younger team. I wasn’t familiar with any of these actors apart from Kellan Lutz. This was no problem though as the film is already littered with familiar faces. This younger team was great, it allowed for a massive injection of pace to be added to the movie that the older action stars just aren’t capable. Much like the glimpse we saw of this in The Expendables 2 with Liam Hemsworths character. Mel Gibson dawns our screens as the villain in this outing, I thought he was brilliant – although I am not a big fan of his normally the presence he brought was great and he was easily the best villain that the franchise has seen so far. I realise that I have only discussed the cast up to this point, however that is really what The Expendables is all about, seeing our favourite action stars from yesteryear team up and kick ass and this is most definitely the case with The Expendables 3.
The action of course is the other major element of these films, and boy did we get some action in this movie. Two great scenes at the start of the movie impress and give Snipes most of the spotlight. These scenes were perfect for the start of the movie and get things underway fairly quickly. The Expendables then take a step back for a while and have some heart to hearts, some of which do go on for too long. Then we get to see the younger team in action which was great, I loved the clever satire that was on offer comparing the ways of the old action stars to the new ones. I enjoyed the reflections on how the action genre has changed over the years. Anyway all the events of this movie build towards the finale, and this is the finale of all finales really. It has everything, literally everything you have seen in an action movie is here and it is flipping awesome. Tanks, motorbikes, helicopters, bombs, collapsing buildings, combat scenes, oh and ever action star under the sun, the list honestly never stops. You would think that there was maybe too much going on but this is The Expendables, too much is never enough! I could have watched this finale for another half an hour easily, it is my favourite action scene from any of the movies and cements The Expendables 3 as the best movie of the franchise so far.
I spend a lot of my time in the quieter moments during these movies letting my mind wonder just who else could join this team and despite the already massive cast there are so many others that just need to be in one of these movies! So although I would be very happy just leaving The Expendables as a trilogy I would be more than happy to the welcome the idea of further films. The Expendables 3, easily the best yet.
BIGGEST FLAW – Still those issues with CGI
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Finale
Rating – 9/10