THIS WEEK: The third installment of Sly Stallone’s “Old Action Heroes Never Die, They Just Band Together For a Check”.
This time around they’ve recruited a few young faces to help with dangerous overseas missions. Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger and bit-parter Jet Li return along with newcommers Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Bandaras, Kelsey Grammer, bad guy Mel Gibson and youngsters Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz and Ronda Rousey.
Written by Sylvester Stallone (from his story), Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt. Directed by Patrick Hughes.
You get the same thrills as with the first two: Guns, knives, fists, boots, blunt objects, bullets and explosions galore. If you like hearing ratt-a-tatts and boom-a-booms, you won’t be disappointed. Weapon fans, you get hand guns, automatics, rocket-launchers, tanks and more.
A few car chases and spectacular stunts thrown in for fun.
Mel Gibson makes a great, bat-crap crazy villain. Basically just playing himself.
Harrison Ford is in his PATRIOT GAMES mode of super-serious authority figure. No Indy or Han Solo charm, just straightforward macho. Plays it straight but you know he’s having a good time.
Nice to see Wesley Snipes back to kick some screen ass. Funny tax gag you knew was coming but worth it. He needs his own flick again. So does Bandaras, who’s here for comic relief but could do more.
Stallone brings the gun show–both the metallic and muscular kind. Joke all you want about the saggy shoe-leather skin, but the dude’s in awesome shape and looks like he could still kick ass. (Can’t say the same for the Governator.)
If you have a testosterone deficiency, you can see this instead of taking meds.
Along those lines, Ronda Rousey is a nice token badass hottie. Sleek and sexy in heels and a dress, strong and skilled in skin-tight leather and boots.
Easy-to-understand plots free of complications or unnecessary emotions.
Some bits of entertaining banter and macho put-downs as with the first two.
First half drags a bit. Not as strong as the previous two. But the second half is when hell breaks loose with popcorn-munchin’ macho.
Rousey is nice but of course, no nudity or even undies shots, and the berry on her face throws off the close ups. (That is why we have CG, guys.)
Where the hell are the former action chick stars? By the third installment, they could have done so much more. How about Angelina Jolie, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, Pam Grier, Lynda Carter, Jennifer Garner, Halle Berry and Helen Mirren, just for starters? Awesome potential to have them square off against and/or team up with the dudes. And increase the potential audience by 50% to boot. [note: an entire new franchise called…get ready for it…The Expendabelles is in the works. With the complete failure of this flick at the box office who knows if it will come to be or not. – Craig]
I like Kelsey Grammer and he’s a good actor. But why is he in this? He’s not an action hero, never played one and doesn’t play one here. Could have been other, better choices more appropriate with the cast.
Did I see an insinuation about two characters that came out of “left” field? WTF?
Randy Couture is great, but let’s be honest: Terry Crews is ten times the actor, and his character has ten times the personality as Couture’s. So why is Randy’s screen time ten times longer? Was Terry out of town? If he wanted more dough, they should’ve given it to him.
No Bruce Willis. I liked his character.
As with the previous two, if you think too much (or at all) about some of the stunts or situations, you’ll lose your grip on the story. (Like, if you’ve been hanging by your arms for a day with little to no food or water, you’re not going to spring back into top shape in seconds.) Just check your logic at the theater entrance and turn off that part of your head before you watch.
Yeah, you’ll get a bigger kick out of the gunfire and explosions on the big screen but if you saw the first two in the theater, you know what to expect and can save the dough. Good fun to kill a couple hours but not much else. Until they do something novel like bring in the famous femme fatales or have Jackie Chan star and do the stunt coordination, the “franchise” is just rinse and repeat.
P.S.: Pascale gives you action and adventure in an art commission of your choice. Old or new chracters, guys or gals. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, or actors over or under the age of 50. Bru would like to see an animated version by Pixar called The Incredible Expendables!