The Expendables 3 starts out with Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stallone in drag going across the country to compete in the "Miss Drag Queen of America Pageant." Um... that's the plot of "To Wong Foo!... Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar." (1995) Okay, this movie starts with the Expendables in a helicopter trying to free Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes) from a prison train. They are successful only to have Doc run amuck and take over the train. He then rams the train into a prison to kill a tyrant. Now how did he know the target would be behind the wall at that time? Thus begs the question, "Can a movie that starts out dumb, turn out to be good?"
Well, it gets even dumber. Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), team leader and his Expendables have a job to stop an arms deal done by a drunk, racist pig... um sorry I'm describing Mel Gibson. But wait he is in this movie. Their job is to stop an arms dealer who is played by a drunk, racist pig that being Gibson. The twist is that he's Conrad Stonebanks, a former Expendable who turned bad. Did I say it got dumber? Okay. They take Doc on the mission immediately AFTER they break him out. You got it. No training. No shrinks for being locked up all those years. Nothing.
Anyway, the mission goes bad. And it takes Indiana Jones to retrieve The Ark of the Covenant from the Nazis. Er... Sorry fo that. CIA handler Drummer who's played by Harrison Ford now wants Stonebanks captured. Ross is worried his team is getting too old... ha, ha. He recruits a younger team. (Victor Ortiz, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell) If you can't figure the rest of the plot from the trailer then you haven't seen many modern action movies.
Usually, I discuss the acting performances for a movie. But what's the point? There are so many old guys from the eighties along with the new kids, it all played like a party in a bar that you were not invited to. That can mean this movie is going to stink. Okay, I will say Antonio Banderas as over the hill assassin, Galgo, was a lot of fun. The man moves with such grace. And his earnest desire to join the team seems to be a metaphor about Hollywood dumping actors for younger people. What can I say about Stallone? He comes off as a meathead. Whereas Harrison Ford adds some elderly dignity to the CIA handler. With all due respect, because I'm not a young whipper snapper, Ford should be done playing Indiana Jones. Of course, this wouldn't be a an Expendables movie without Arnold Schwarzenegger firing a big gun and saying some catch phrase from one of his movies.
The screenplay by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt and Stallone makes more sense than the second movie. I mean in Expendables 2, you had Chuck Norris appear out of nowhere. But there are some problems. The aforementioned opening scenes and when Ross gets his young team together, there's no training montage. I mean these kids went into the mission cold. That being said, thankfully Ross listens to youthful wisdom and uses the high tech way to capture Stonebanks. So the last two thirds of the movie makes some sense. Okay, I'm still wondering how the Expendables prop driven airplane evades another country's radar.
Director Patrick Hughes is competent. There are some nice tracking shots but he suffers from the same cinematic disease that has been inflicted on modern film. There is way, way too much fast cutting. (Edits of a scene so it lasts no more than three seconds.) Too often it's used to show action. But in this movie, it only adds to the confusion. A good fight scene is like a dance. We must see the bodies in action and I mean the full bodies. The same thing with a war scene. If you're going to use that much fast cutting then it's got to have logical flow. The Expendables 3 was cut like it was made for people with ADHD. Yet, with all the confusion, the story was correctly told and it was an interesting and fun tale. Finally Brian Tyler's score was very good with a nice heroic theme.
The Expendables 3 is time wasting fun. It's not going to win any Oscars. And it's better than the last one. But that's like saying a deep fried twinkie is better than a normal twinkie. The grade is B.