Why The Expendables 3 is Kinda Awesome

That's a whole lot of badass!

By this point, everyone knows what to expect from The Expendables: a host of former or returning big name action stars kicking serious ass, firing off one liners and blowing lots of things up, and that is exactly what you get with the third instalment, just bigger (and with some young faces thrown in because...well, because). If you enjoy The Expendables for what it is, you'll enjoy this one as well.

I could, in all honesty, end the review there because that is basically all you need to know; however, given that would be a very boring and unprofessionally short article, I'll elaborate some, and give critique on specific points.

You don't mess with the boys

Let's start with the cast and how they fare: Sly is Sly; Statham doesn't get as much screen time as the previous two but what he does get is classic Christmas; Lungdren, Crews and Couture are what they are with what little screen time they are given – enjoyable, but fairly one-dimensional; Ford gets a surprising amount of screen time and is one of the stand outs of the film for me along with Snipes and Gibson, who bring great characters to life; Banderas, on the other hand, is THE stand out of the film for me, making a fantastic first impression with an enjoyable and memorable character; Schwarzenegger is really looking old in this, but his small part is still enjoyable because of who he is; new blood Lutz, Powell, Ortiz and Rousey are decent enough, though the latter can't act her way out of a wet paper bag, even if she could kick my ass from here to Japan; Grammer is only in it for one decent sequence in the mid part of the film, but his character is, like many others, enjoyable if not fully developed.

Gibson is an unstable but enjoyable villain type

There is one big name that I have missed off the list, of course: Jet Li. I was rather annoyed in The Expendables 2, when Li, despite being one of the main characters in the first and being top billed for the second, only appeared for the first 10-15 minute sequence, before disappearing for the rest of the film (without even so much as a mention). I was hoping, with him getting top billing again, he'd make a return and have more of an impact here, but once again I was let down – this time by him not appearing until the last 10-15 minute sequence. It was frustrating, especially because we don't really get the kick ass martial arts action from him that we want in this one (though he does do a lot of damage with a big ass gatling gun).

Banderas is the stand out character for me

The action is ramped up – same style, of course, just bigger in scale. Bullets and fists are flying all the time, buildings are blowing up, there are tanks and armies and deadly enemies a plenty and it's a riotous, joyous ride of mayhem.

Plot wise, well...it's The Expendables. Simple, reliable tropes that are only there to provide a framework for the one-liners and the ass kicking.

Overall, whilst it won't win any awards, it was an enjoyable film that was, whilst not spectacularly crafted, solid. Again, if you enjoyed The Expendables franchise so far, you'll enjoy this one.

Final Score: 7/10

This has been Blacksmith, writing for The Awesome Update.


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