The Expendables 3 (2014)

  • Time: 126 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Thriller
  • Director: Patrick Hughes
  • Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews


Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.


  • There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best Expendables yet. I was sourly disappointed by the first and thought the second was worse, but still I watched this one and I am pleased to say that it actually felt like a movie.

    OK, action scenes are either over the top, ridiculous or ridiculously over the top, while the story… who needs it anyhow? But the quality of the characters, the acting, the dialogues, all way better than in any previous installment, while the humor went to a higher level, more subtle, more funny.

    It was nice to see Snipes in an action movie. To get an action actor and put him in jail for years was probably horrific, and for what? Tax evasion. He played in this film and made fun of it. Respect. Not a lot of activity from the old crew, but also no random scenes that made no sense like before. The new people… well, they are young and lack a lot of the charisma that they needed, but perhaps that is going to change, if any more Expendables are to come. Harrison Ford was fine, Banderas was hilarious, but I think his role could have gone more towards his character’s sadness and underlying insanity and less towards comic relief.

    Bottom line: Clearly done a lot better than the previous Expendables movies. Not in the sense that it made any sense, but production and people values. As for Bruce Willis, well… he’s out of the picture.

  • Don’t expect too much and take it for what it is – a high profile summer action flick that’s out there to bring you some light entertainment and a bit of nostalgia. The story is simple and filled with tropes but makes sense to a degree where you can buy it and focus on the action sequences and one liners, which are pretty funny. I especially liked that they went for classic action sequences, still with lots of explosions and fight scenes but keeping it tidy enough to not overload the audience – unlike other movies where action scenes start to become just flickering images because they put so much in them and so many dynamic camera movements that you almost start to feel nauseous.

    Bottom line: If you like 2 hours of mindless entertainment to see the action heroes of the past perform one more time then this is for you – if you look for substance stay clear (but that should go without saying since it’s the third installment).

  • To be honest, I didn’t expect much from this movie…
    But Sylvester Stallone has taken “The Expendables” saga to a higher new level with this new film of the franchise, leaving behind all the homages and the parody of the previous ones, making this film have it’s own style…

    The cast adds two new legends, Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford and Stallone being aware of how good actor Mel Gibson is, has created a villain that fits him perfectly, giving him some great and epic dialogue lines.

    But the big surprise of the cast is the hilarious and outstanding performance by Antonio Banderas as Galgo, a Spanish milician, who tries everything he can to become an Expendable.Almost all the comedy of the film lies on him and he seems to be very comfortable in this kind of movies.

    From the younger actors who are part of the new team, Ronda Rousey is by far the most charismatic one, using her fantastic fighting skills and charisma to steal the show in her scenes.

    The film begins with a fast pace that never flags, introducing new characters quickly but in an effective way, and leading to a twenty minutes long final climax , in which we can see all the cast members show off their skills…

    Definitely, a joy from start to finish, that can be just fully enjoyed in theatres, a great visual stravaganza and a celebration of a type of cine that sadly we don’t often see these days… “The Expendables 3” was a lot more subtle and less ridiculous, a really decent action flick!

  • The Expendables are back for a third time, when Barney (Sylvester Stallone) and his team come into conflict with the co-founder of the Expendables, who is determined to destroy the team. Following the successful sequel to The Expendables and the biggest cast to date, would three be too many or will it be the best yet?

    More actors does not make for a better film, what is really important (the story) is second best to the ridiculous amount of actors. Quite frankly the story isn’t memorable and in such makes this a very forgettable film. It’s the same thing over and over again, with big explosions, jokes made about some of the actors past, such as Wesley Snipes tax evasion and nostalgic lines, such as ‘Get to the chopper’ in an attempt at whit. It’s always been a predictable franchise, however they always had the enjoyment factor outweighing it, 3 loses that enjoyment and the predictability becomes a major focus, with it being really easy to guess what happens.

    We are reintroduced to the familiar faces (Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews) and welcome way too many new faces (Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, and Victor Ortiz). Bruce Willis is the only main character not to return, which hinders the film as he brought…
    To read the full review click here.

  • “I need a job! All I know what to do is kill! Goddammit!”

    The first Expendables movie was a hit. A collection of 80’s action heroes whose expiration date already expired and look like a pile of shriveled potatoes that have lain too long in the sun. It was a tribute to those legendary years when Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren and consorts annually kicked some ass in one or other (sometimes cheap looking) action movie. A healthy dose of self-perspective and self-deprecation was abundant, with a wink to the past and using well known one-liners randomly. The second film continued on this momentum with some newbies in it, so that the entertainment value still remained at a reasonable level. And now there is the third part of this trilogy. This movie presents the same again with the established values Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Statham as figureheads, accompanied by a whole bunch of other action figures like Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson. Expect some overwhelming action scenes and a series of fist fights and deafening crossfires. They needed a massive amount of boxes with ammunition I guess, since there’s quite a lot of shooting in this film.

    It’s as clear as daylight that the first “Expendables” was a sort of parody. However, I get the impression that they do realize that the hype is over, since the seniors club is pushed aside and needs to make room for a bunch of young heroes. But wasn’t that the whole idea to start up a parody with a club of senior action heroes ? Is this a symbolic gesture to say that it’s time to pass it on to a younger generation? Looks like it. But if that’s the case I think it would be a good idea to stop with this whole “Expendables” formula, because these youngsters don’t impress me. Those “Benidorm Bastards” however still have an impressive appearance. As long as they don’t move along the screen with a walking frame and need an infusion with some serum, they still look like dangerous fighters who can be very destructive.

    Although there isn’t an intellectual story with shrewd devised twists, it sure is an episode full of action again. From the very beginning, where you’ll see a fast moving train in which an ex-member of “The Expendables” is locked up, until the end, where Russian troops seem to crush the retirees, you won’t have time to get bored. The gang of enormous muscles, who could use a mega pack Oil of Olay anyway, guarantee an explosive show. And I’m pretty sure they’ve broken the record of the longest action scene (almost 20 minutes) ever. If you are into that, this is surely a must see.

    Next to the old timers, it’s Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson who excel the most in this film. Banderas is a rattling chatterbox who takes care of the comic section. An irritating always-getting-in-the-way kind of guy who demonstrates in the end he’s capable of defending himself. Mel Gibson is convincing as the deviated-from-the-straight-path former “Expendable” who decided that he would rather gather a fortune as a weapons supplier, instead of risking his life as a soldier of fortune. So in the end it becomes a personal matter between the two founders of “The Expendables.” The only one who didn’t fit in completely was Harrison Ford who looks very old and rather meager in between this gang of “Duke Nukem” caricatures. The biggest surprise was Kelsey Grammer as the intermediary who introduces Barney Ross to some candidates for a new team. A perfectly selected person who presents the candidates in a “Frasier”-like way one by one with the necessary crystal clear analytical explanation.

    Ultimately this movie is a fun inbetweener that provides momentary amusement. A mindless movie with hard-hitting action and a story as a side issue. The expectations are met. Although the intention has its charms, it feels as if the “Expendables” formula has gotten pretty stale and lifeless. It’s a combination of well-known cliched attributes which have been used already a zillion times. It still irritates me how ridiculously dumb the opponents react. They are always standing in a queue like brainless chickens, so they can be butchered consecutively. Apparently they weren’t trained in strategic attacks. It’s no coincidence that the phrase “franchise fatigue” is used everywhere. I’m sure the list of old generation action heroes is exhausted and every known person in that segment had a guest appearance in this series. It’s not just the action heroes whose expiration date expired, but also the whole concept suffers of this phenomenon.

  • Do you remember when the month of May rolled around and that meant another Star Wars movie? Or when October came (falling leaves and all) and that meant another Saw movie? Or when Thanksgiving was in our midst and that meant another Twilight monstrosity? Well here we are in the dog days of August and that means one thing: It’s Expendables time! You know, the series of films where Sylvester Stallone hires a director, persuades a bunch of his action star buds to jump on board, gives the audience a chance to see tons of cardboard villains bite the dust, and revels in countless excuses to you know, blow stuff up. Yeah, that’s the mindless, late summer ticket. Or is it? Whereas the first couple of Expendables flicks were gory and rated R, this new one holds back on the blood and guts department to garner a PG-13 rating. Was this a ploy to bring in a wider audience? I guess so. But I just saw “3’s” box office take and it looks to bomb out in ticket receipts. A PG-13 marketing technique garnered to make money hasn’t worked (in the past) and probably will never work (an example would be the debunked Terminator Salvation). The first two rated R installments of Sly’s pet project grossed over $500 million worldwide. This new one might possibly just break even. What a shame.

    With a plot that is as thin skinned as a hairless cat, a soundtrack straight out of a Michael Bay vehicle (oh no!), camera angles that remind you of a bad B movie, and a cameo by Jet Li that registers so much as a gesundheit, The Expendables 3 basically involves a conflict between the protagonist (Sylvester “droopy” Stallone) and the antagonist (Mel “darn I got phone tapped” Gibson). Mel Gibson plays Conrad Stonebanks. He’s a arms dealer and former founder of the Expendables team. Stallone plays the other founder (and current leader) of the Expendables in Barney Ross. On a job with his cohorts consisting of intercepting bombs that are going to Somalia, Ross spots Stonebanks who he supposedly killed a long time age. It turns out that Stonebanks is the conspirator behind this treacherous weapons deal. What ensues is a huge gunfight with one of Barney’s men becoming severely wounded (Terry Crews playing Hale Caesar, guns specialist). To get revenge on Stonebanks by hunting him down, Ross drops his old Expendables team and quote unquote “reloads” with a new one.

    So what entices the average moviegoer to see these movies? Well it’s the cast I tell you and it’s comprised of Sly’s peers, old school co-stars, and assorted UFC fighters (Wesley Snipes from Demolition Man, Antonio Banderus from Assassins, good old Dolph Lundgren from Rocky IV, fetching Ronda Rousey, and Kelsey Grammer). Harrison Ford, a newbie in the franchise playing CIA pilot Max Drummer, gives a substantial performance but his line readings seem a little too serious for the material. Then we have Mel Gibson who’s less uptight as madman Conrad Stonebanks. His turn is the best of the bunch even though his role is a little neutered and underwritten. That leaves storyteller and screenwriter of “3” being Sylvester Stallone. Stallone’s acting has definitely gotten worse over the years. As Barney Ross, he reluctantly picks up another lucrative paycheck. His current routine in every film is to be closed off or moody while virtually mumbling his lines off of cue cards. He’s kind of like the Adam Sandler of action movies because he makes fun of or thinks he’s above every other character around him.

    Now with a huge cavalcade of a cast consisting of macho, bullet-happy butt kickers, you have to ask yourself this question: Is this 3rd Expendables film action oriented? Sure it is. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s main purpose was to parody action films or just plain make fun of them. After the final credits rolled, I reverted back to my childhood when I found myself watching 1984’s Missing In Action or episodes of The A-Team. The Expendables 3 copies off this in that the villains get shot up with virtual ease while the heroes (or hero) come(s) out of the whole debacle with not so much as a neosporin scratch. If “Expendables 4” is in the works (and it probably is), I was trying to figure out what action hero from the past (or present day) could join Stallone’s relatively has-been posse. Liam Neeson perhaps? Gosh I hope not. If somehow Neeson gets contacted and gets the proverbial peer pressure from Sly, I’m praying that he does what was reiterated in the 80’s and “just says no!”.

    All in all, this 2 hour slop has PG-13 induced violence (lots of people die with machine guns and knives but you only see little smidgens of blood a la red food dye corn syrup), a minimal plot, mostly inane dialogue, and momentously phoned in performances. In layman’s terms, The Expendables 3 is an action flick that is indeed uninspired and just plain empty. It’s pretty much “expendable” unto itself.

    Of note: (Spoiler alerts) The Expendables 3 concludes with a much anticipated, long awaited showdown between Gibson and Stallone. Basically it’s a pedestrian fistfight that lasts about 1 minute (I’m not kidding). Oh and co-star Wesley Snipes states that his character just got out of prison for quote unquote “tax evasion.” Way to state the obvious there Wes. Finally, at the end of the two hour running time, we see an elaborate bar moment where almost every cast member gets together to down some brewskies. Of course the Terry Crews character who was shot up earlier and looked like he was an inch away from death, somehow appears untouched and unscathed. He joins the crew for spirits and it’s as if nothing ever happened to him. Sheer nonsense!

    Check out other reviews on my blog:

  • Sandcooler

    Particularly to this franchise’s standards, “The Expendables 3” is a surprisingly joyless affair. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but it just seems like everyone’s bored with these movies now. It may look like that because the CGI effects get more abundant with every new entry. This thing has so many scenes that appear to be mostly computer-generated, I’m pretty sure they shot all of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s scenes in his trailer. It also doesn’t help that this movie is suddenly PG-13 (do 13-year-olds even know who Stallone is?), so it’s mostly cartoon violence: these new villains don’t even bleed when they get their throats cut, how would that work? The obligatory emotional scene is even lazier than usual, this time around it’s Hail Caesar (Terry Crews) who’s fighting for his life after the villain shoots him very early in the movie. Why does there always need to be a scene like that in these movies? The characters are cardboard cut-outs that are well…expendable, and you know he’s going to make it because these guys survive massive explosions by slightly jumping. If it’s actually time to kill an expendable, they just bring in a new cannon fodder character like Liam Hemsworth played in the second one. We all know this. Stop pretending this is suspenseful. The near-death (cough) of Caesar is used to set up the second act, which features Stallone fighting alongside newer, younger actors: but apart from MMA-fighter Ronda Rousey none of them make much of an impression, so particularly that part is a massive bore and in an already unimpressive movie.

    I guess the non-climax to this movie sums it all up. Van Damme lost his head in the last one, Mel Gibson is…shot in the chest? If they’re not trying, why should I?

  • Sylvester Stallone is back with another installation of The Expendables and just like the first two films, Stallone gathers a handful of action stars from the past and teams up to do what they do best on the big screen, kick some butt. The first two films felt very similar due to the plot points and dialogue being recycled. But for the third installation, Stallone decided to change it up a bit – bringing in a new generation of action stars. Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, and Glen Powell all join the team of old-timers. A brilliant idea from writer Stallone indeed because I’m not so sure how many more films he can make with just the same team. Unfortunately, new faces were the only new and refreshing addition to this trilogy, repeated dialogue and plot points are used once again.

    Barney (Sylvester Stallone), Christmas (Jason Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

    The movie starts off with a bang as Barney, Christmas, Gunner (Dolph Lundgren), Road (Randy Couture) all save a former Expendable Doc (Wesley Snipes), from an armored prison located on a train. Who wouldn’t want an action film to start any other way? This pre-credit sequence gets you ready for what is to come from the rest of the film. Unfortunately, things don’t pick up much right after. Stallone and the other writers on board gives us similar trends we saw in past films but instead of Church (Bruce Willis) giving out the missions a new CIA agent does, Drummer (Harrison Ford).

    Nevertheless, Ford replacing Willis in the film was not the only thing new in The Expendables 3. After an ugly incident that ended with Caesar (Terry Crews) getting fatally injured, Barney suggests that the crew retires and that it may be time for some new and young blood. This is something I believe to be a beautiful concept because the first two films gave younger audiences a glimpse of the action stars that older generations enjoyed and now in the third installment, audiences are gifted with a glimpse of what actions stars are going to be gracing the big screen in the years to come. I am especially happy with the addition of UFC star Ronda Rousey, who will give young girls around the world a role model that isn’t a Disney princess. Unfortunately, their screen time is limited as the new comers are well, still new to the game and get caught after their first mission resulting in the old-timers coming out of their brief retirement. Hopefully, Stallone brings back the young guys for the fourth installment, which has already been confirmed.

    There is one final thing that is different about The Expendables 3 and that’s the rating. The first two films were both rated R, yet the latest installment got a rating of PG-13. A rating that changed the vibe of the movie for the sure because there was less blood and less heads being blown off than we were given previously. Are those things necessary for the film? No. But if Stallone wants to keep true to his 1980’s action roots than it is. But where the action dipped, the laughs made up for it. Warning, if you don’t know much of the actor’s past work than the jokes will go right over your head. As jokes were made about Snipes’ recent jail time, Willis’ departure from the film, Li’s height, Statham’s accent and Schwarzenegger’s famous ‘Get to the CHOPPER!’ line.

    Overall, The Expendables 3 was a very fun time to watch even though you get the feeling you have seen it all before if you saw any of the previous films. The action sequences were not up to par as the past and the new-comers didn’t bring the big impression that they should of but the jokes made and chemistry between the actors made up for it. With that being said, you should totally skip this film on all formats and wait for it to be on Netflix or On Demand. If Stallone indeed does get the bad guy he wants for The Expendables 4, Dwayne Johnson, brings back the new-comers and has the rating go back to R than maybe, just maybe the fourth installment will be the best one yet.

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