Leave your brain outside the cinema door for what hopes to be a rapturous (and if you believe the trailer), one final ride.
Patrick Hughes has the directorial burden of emulating what Stallone and Simon West previously orchestrated.
Plot details and/or spoilers are loaded with ammo.
Going out with a possible bang include:
Sylvester Stallone – Barney
Jason Statham – Christmas
Dolph Lundgren – Gunnar
Randy Couture –
Mel Gibson – Stonebanks
Wesley Snipes – Doctor Death
Antonio Banderas - Galgo
Kelsey Grammer - Bonaparte
Harrison Ford – Drummer
Jet Li – Yin Yang
Barney and his crew intercept a train and bust out former member Doctor Death before his ass is transported to prison.
They arrive in
to scupper a shipment of bombs. Somalia
Amidst gunfire and explosions, the arms dealing big cheese is spotted and revealed to be former Expendables co-founder Stonebanks.
Before making his escape, Caesar is shot by Stonebanks who is subsequently taken to a nearby hospital.
Barney retires Christmas,
Toll Road, Gunnar and Doc from his team as
wearing the guilt of their deaths is something that doesn’t really appeal.
Going it alone, he meets with Bonaparte who helps enlist new mercs.
This part reminded me of The Mean Machine when Burt Reynolds recruits various inmates to play against the guards.
Nightclub bouncer Luna, weapons professional Mars, computer whizz Thorn and ex-marine Smilee all the make the cut but sniper Galgo (Spanish for greyhound), fails in the selection process.
Much to the disgust of Barney,
CIA operative Drummer informs Stonebanks must be taken alive so
he can be tried for war crimes.
Tripping off to
, Thorn disables security systems
and Stonebanks is captured during another arms deal. Romania
Before Drummer’s package can be delivered, his men halt progress by introducing missile to van.
The young are kidnapped and via video link, Stonebanks presents Barney with the clichéd challenge of ‘if you want them, come get ‘em’.
Galgo’s gab is given the green light to tag along and four familiar faces provide extra firepower…
In what looks like a dilapidated and derelict casino, the kids are saved but uh oh, Stonebanks has rigged the place with C4.
Proving not to be a Thorn in their sides, a battery powered gizmo jams the signal which buys them about 30 minutes before detonation.
I suppose it’s longer than the average Smartphone…
Drummer’s evac team (consisting of Trench and Yang), arrive in a helicopter and obliterates heavy artillery and enemy contingent.
Barney vs. Stonebanks. Final Round. Fight.
After exchanging blink and you’ll miss it blows, our villain is shot dead.
With time conveniently called, Barney puts on the afterburners and makes it to the chopper.
Holy shit! We never saw that coming.
During the customary piss up, Caesar is fighting fit and new recruits are officially accepted.
Oh yeah, Trench and Yang are gay.
Er, what? WHAT?
This doesn’t fire more blanks than a territorial but compared to the sequel, you cannot help but feel robbed.
In regards to so-so action, the beginning, run up to first seeing Stonebanks and climatic firefight is all you really get.
I’m guesstimating 20 minutes and with a running time of over 2 hours – that’s a shocking return.
If that's unfair, please consider The Raid series…
Sure there’s energy but violence has definitely felt the impact of achieving 12A certification.
Despite this, there’s more crunch than Taken 2.
One thing that pissed me off is when Ford complains he can’t understand Statham’s Cockney accent. Am I the only asshole who thinks that reeks of American bullshit?
Even Statham looked angry.
Ubiquitous banter impresses, Banderas’s over zealous yap largely succeeds in providing the laughs and Stallone tells a decent enough story.
The regulars do what they do and young blood may inject freshness but for me, were just plain irritating.
Gibson portrays a fairly ruthless villain, which is in complete contrast to Machete Kills.
As greedy bastard Bruce Willis’s financial demands couldn't be met to fund a new vest and toupee, when Stallone asks of Church’s whereabouts, Ford replies ‘he’s out of the picture.’
‘Short notice’ from Arnie is a nod towards Ford's limited preparation and after sizing him up, Ford's remark of ‘very short’ ridicules Li's height.
He retorts with 'I thought Church was asshole', or something very similar.
Couture asks Snipes why he was locked up and the droll answer of ‘tax evasion’ has to be applauded.
Arnie revisits classic lines ‘get to the chopper’ and ‘I lied’ from Predator and Commando respectively.
Stallone refers to Snipes as a ‘maniac’, as per Demolition Man.
When scouting for a new team with Bonaparte, Stallone sees Thorn rock climbing and claims ‘I could do that’. Thank superior outdoor action adventure Cliffhanger for that one.
’ is more than likely a variation of ‘I am the Law’ from the appalling Judge Dredd. the Hague
A flash or stun grenade is designed to disorientate and cause discomfort to one’s hearing tackle. In ensemble cast driven corruption thriller
, Stallone’s char Freddy Heflin is
deaf in one ear. Cop Land
Fair enough, he suffers from no such impairment but the temporary principle remains when in the vicinity of such an explosive going off.
Call it picky, but a frustrated Gibson sarcastically asks his cronies “How hard can it be to kill ten men?”
He forgot about Luna…
There’s already talk of a fourth and hiring John Malkovich, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Carl Weathers, Tom Hardy, Rutger Hauer and Tom Cruise would do more good than harm.
Let’s hope that some don’t see red at such a proposal.
My own wish list for rumoured female spin-off dubbed ‘The Expendabelles’ are Sharon Stone, Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovovich, Uma Thurman, Linda Hamilton and Kate Beckinsale.
I of course would say Sigourney Weaver, but she’s already committed to the adaptation of children’s fantasy novel A Monster Calls.
Whatever happens, balls must be grown to ensure the next is a 15 or the franchise should be deemed literally expendable.