Barney and his gang are back and this time take it up against their biggest challenge yet: arms dealer and former Expendable Conrad Stonebanks. That’s basically it actually… no countries to be freed from a dictator or a mad man with weapons grade plutonium in his possession and still this movie has over a 2 hour running time. The running time is this long because there is a lengthy mid-section where Stallone dismantles the original Expendables team after Caesar gets shot and recruites a younger team which is caught by Stonebanks after they catch him first. Barney is the only one who escapes and it’s up to the oldies to save the children so to speak.
There are a couple of things that make the Expendables series so much fun, the main reason having all the old school action heroes in one series: returning are Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Li, Crews and Couture and added to the cast of golden oldies are Mel Gibson (Stonebanks), Wesley Snipes (Doc), Antonio Banderas (Galgo) and Harrison Ford (Drummer). Also Kelsey Grammer has a bit part and the team of young Expendables consists of Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell and Kellan Lutz of which I’m only familiar with the works of the last one.
With such a large cast it should come to nobody’s surprise that not everybody has the same amount of screen time. Ford, Li and Arnie have nothing more than glorified cameos and only actually matter in the finale of the movie which takes places in and around an abandoned building surrounded by ruins in some Eastern European country. In their own way these countries do have a certain charisma on screen.
As always the plot is pretty straightforward and some twists and turns I’d expect never happened. The Expendables even make rookie mistakes I never thought them to do like walking into a building rigged with explosives or not checking people for trackers and such, not even now that they have a whizz-kid on board. But those are just small stains on a movie that is filled with tongue in cheek dialogue like the previous movies. It had me laughing during and between the action sequences… especially when Snipes explains why he was in a prison train and Arnie tells people to get to a certain aviation vehicle. But it’s not only the dialogue: especially Banderas and Snipes gives their characters 110% and steal every scene they’re in. Gibson does a fine villain, something he already learned doing Machete Kills. His Stonebanks is basically the same character as Voz in that movie.
People who enjoyed the first two movies will enjoy this one. Aside from a few new faces it brings nothing new to the series, but this has turned out to be one fun franchise and I’m already curious who will star in a number 4 should it be made.