Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Expendables 3

Lowdown: The Expendables face their co-creator, and only one side can win.
Looking back at the history of one Sylvester Stallone, it is clear the guy never knew when to call it quits. Whether it was Rocky 48 or Rambo 52, nothing can come between him and creating another sequel with which to flout his rather scary worldview (that of the “you’re either with us or against us”, George W type). Case in point: The Expendables 3.
The formula is the same as that of the previous episodes: assemble a crew of has been, or to be more precise past their peak, action movie stars (now featuring: Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren (didn’t he die in a previous episode?), Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger); put them through all sorts of A Team style action scenes, albeit with significantly superior production values to that TV series of old; stick an excuse for a plot and a token female character on top; count the money coming in.
This time around the excuse for a plot has our Stallone led group bump into The Expendables' co-creator (Gibson). For reasons left unclear, Gibson turned into a baddie whereas our goodies kill only baddies, so a conflict ensues. Stallone fears for his elderly crew, and decides to abandon them and get himself a bunch of new youngsters to deal with the Gibson threat. Actually, he’s appointed by a CIA agent (Ford) to bring Gibson to the Hague for trial (not sure anti-Semitic slurring and drinking in public qualify for the Hague, but let’s leave Gibson jokes at that).
From that point onwards, one can start their stopwatch the measure the infinitesimal period of time until the old crew is called back to save the day. That piece of action takes place in the hostile country of Assmanistan, where the number one resource is hordes of subhuman baddies our heroes can kill without the slightest feeling of guilt.
Given the amount of talent at hand, the outcome that is The Expendables 3 is pathetic. It’s boring, predictable, as flat as a Formula 1 tracks, and as appealing to the intellect as a Sylvester Stallone incoherently mumbling to himself for two hours. Oh, wait.
The only positive things I can say about this movie is that it is nice to see some of the world’s greatest action heroes again: Ford, Gibson and Schwarzenegger. Most of the big names endow us with their screen presence for a few seconds here and there, with Gibson’s revisit to his Lethal Weapon days being the only performance to leave a genuinely positive mark in the acting department.
Other than that, The Expendables 3 is a complete waste of time.
Worst scene:
“I am the Hague”
Stallone’s declaration of independence as he wipes out a baddie is all one needs to know in order to understand the mature nature of this real life character’s worldview. And quickly move on to pastures greener than Expendables 3 while contemplating the benefits of human civilisation.
Overall: The recurrence of the ubiquitous Stallone sequel is all the proof I need for the absence of a loving god. 1.5 out of 5 obsolete crabs.

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