The Expendables 3

"How hard can it be to kill ten men?"   - Stonebanks

release year: 2014
genre: action
viewing setting: home Bluray 5/10/17 and 11/6/16 and 11/26/15 and 8/6/15 and 3/8/15 and 12/6/14 and theater 8/16/14

synopsis: Team leader Barney can't deal with the idea of losing his friends, so he fires them and gets new, younger mercenaries...but faces a challenge that, in the end, will require everyone.

impressions: This was fun, but also busy...crowded. There were too many action stars and therefore few of them got a lot of screen time. In trying to give the audience as much as possible, Stallone has diluted the impact. He also went for the PG-13 rating, which always sucks, but at least we all know the home theater release will have a more graphic version. To the good points: plenty of action and violence, enough for any five other movies.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A woman who looks like a secretary but fights like an army.

acting: Since there were so many big names here, I'm only going to discuss the standouts as I saw them, and in no particular order. Antonio Banderas is some kind of shell-shocked foreign mercenary, and although he starts out really annoying, he actually provides a lot of funny lines by the end. Conversely, Wesley Snipes starts out strong and is all but invisible at the end. Ronda Rousey is a notable tough female mercenary with a chip on her shoulder. Harrison Ford is a CIA executive who does a little combat flying at the end. Mel Gibson steals the show as the villain; he's got tremendous screen presense and a lot of great lines. Kelsey Grammer, not an action star, has a good supporting role.

final word: Entertaining, but they're running out of ideas and possibly focus.

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