Movie#92 The Expendables 3

Expert guys with guns have to shoot other guys who have guns but seem to have much less expertise at using them. Then there is explosions.


The Expendables 3” is the “Grown Ups 2” of action movies and the only reason that it doesn’t have similarly abysmal ratings is that people are more easily entertained by explosions and guns than by bad jokes. Let me explain, “Grown Ups 2” is carried 100% on its cast having so many names you might recognize in it that you are bound to be attracted to at least one of them. In that same vein “The Expendables 3” has a cast list that almost sounds like a joke. Here is a small (and I stress the word small) selection of the stars you can expect to see in this riveting film


  • Sylvester Stalone

  • Dolph Lundgren

  • Jason Statham

  • Harrison Ford

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • Mel Gibson

  • Wesley Snipes

  • Terry Crews

  • Kelsey Grammer


It doesn’t succeed at being funny, thrilling, exciting or even so bad its good, it’s just bad and you are a bad person if you like it. I was hoping for a movie I could turn my brain off for and enjoy some mindless pulse pounding action, instead what I got was a two hour long boring snore fest that can only be described as a good action movie by someone who has never seen any action movie before it. I so utterly hated this film that I am going to take the time to break down why I hated every aspect of it. Oh and just in case someone cares, spoilers.


Bad Acting: Lets get the most important thing out of the way right off the bat. Even the actors in this movie who have shown they have skill in other movies before this one tend to flop around like dead fish during this film. The only lines I ever thought were delivered with any strength where a few select ones by Mel Gibson who plays Stonebanks, the movies villain. “But, it’s just an dumb action movie, stop paying attention to the acting and start paying attention to the action!”. I know imaginary dumb person, I would love to just pay attention to the action (something I will get to later) but the acting was honestly so bad that it made it hard to pay attention to the explosions. I want to repeat that, their acting was so bad it literally overshadowed multiple story explosions. Now I don’t honestly believe most of these actors are as bad as they are in this movie save for a few of them which are quite honestly not actors at all (looking at you Ronda Rousey) I think they just all knew how little it mattered in this film and phoned it all in. This lack of caring carries onto the screen and makes you care just as little about what the characters are going through. This level of awful acting would have been acceptable and the movie still could have been passable had it not been for the…


Bad Writing: I am surprised my eyes are still in their sockets after the amount of times they rolled around in their during this film. I can’t possibly imagine this script took more than a week to fart out and get the okay for shooting. They try to keep the movie light with some snappy one liners but none of these manage to hit with any actual comedy. The only point in this movie that I actually laughed at was at the very end when Terry Crews, who has been in the hospital the entire movie, is their celebrating with his team on a job well done, out of the hospital just in time to show up one last time before the credits. The worst offending lines where the ones they obviously put in as a nod to some of the actors previous work to try and tug at some sort of nostalgia or perhaps make you feel smart for getting a reference more obvious than the eggs in a child’s Easter egg hunt. Am I supposed to be excited when Arnold yells out “GET TO THE CHOPPA”? Is the fact that it’s a reference to an astronomically better movie supposed to do anything other than make me want to watch that film instead? In fact “Predator” stands as a shining example of how this movie could have succeeded. It’s a movie with okay acting and pretty minimal writing. But, it succeeds by not having…


Poorly Done Action: Here is the one saving grace this movie could managed. If it had pulled out all the stops for some really well choreographed action combined with some impressive practical or special effects and I could still have finished watching this movie and been happy. But no… no they ruin it for me even here. They took the most important thing in a movie with so many action movie stars, THE ACTION, and managed to fuck it up entirely. The action is paced and set in such a way that I was never once worried for the lives of any single one of the Expendables. In fact they become so obviously immune to death that it honestly feels like I am watching people play a first person shooter with an invincibility cheat on. The Expendables crew survives, bullet wounds, rocket propelled grenades, tank rounds and exploding buildings. The film should be called “The Anything But Expendables”. I find it hard to be sucked into the action when I know that not a single one of the stars has even the most remote chance of dying. But when one of them literally does some sick stunts on a motorcycle and then hangs off a piece of re-bar within easy shooting distance of a literal army of bad guys and doesn’t even get grazed I tune out because the outcome is already a foregone conclusion, that is if I hadn’t already tuned out because by the time this scene happens it has already been preceded by six or seven scenes equally as ludicrous. Even the bad guys seem aware of the fact that they are not allowed to kill the main characters, when they get close and get one in their sites they wait for a few seconds to shoot at all so someone can kill them.


On top of all the poorly done practical effects and bad choreography is some of the worst CG I have seen in a AAA film. I have said in other reviews that effects look like they belong in a straight to television Scy-Fy original movie. But never has the comparison been more fitting and more damning. This train wreck had a budget of 90 million dollars and every single one of those dollars must have gone to paying for the horde of big name actors. There is just no excuse in this day and age for a movie of this size to have graphics that look this bad. Having such bad CG only reminds you that you are watching a movie and ruins your immersion in the film. But, who gives a shit really because by the twenty minute mark, there is no immersion left to be lost.


The Expendables 3” has a slew of other problems with it, an audio track that only manages to distract from the action/story or be so bland its pointless, Plot points that are never explored and not even put in with the expectation of them leading to a sequel, extraneous scenes that serve no purpose other than to pad the time…. honestly it would be easier to list the things I did like about this movie, here we go.


  • Mel Gibson’s monologue after he gets captured

  • Harrison Ford making fun of Jason Statham’s accent


and that’s it. That is honestly all I can remember enjoying about this film. Don’t watch this movie if you are looking for a thriller, don’t watch this movie if you are looking for action, don’t watch this movie if you are looking for something that’s so bad its good, just plain don’t watch this movie, ever. 1/10

Available on Amazon Prime video