Everything I said about the last two “Expendables” movies, blah blah, with some new additions from the AARP branch of the action heroes club: Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, and Mel Gibson, plus a couple of Expendable interns to bring down the median age a bit.
Sylvester Stallone got the gang back together for one more Over-the-Hill gang run-with-a-gun-fest. Once again, he plays Barney Ross, as one of those guys who is most comfortable when he is least comfortable. One of these guys, given a chance to sleep in a bed, puts the bedspread down on the floor and settles in for the night. Barney and the gang are the guys you call when you need the impossible and off the books. I need to point out, however, that it isn’t too hush-hush as Barney’s first meeting with Drummer (ah, the machismo of these names), the CIA big shot played by Ford, replacing Bruce Willis as Church. (There are a couple of cracks about Church, directed at Willis, who reportedly asked for too much money to be in this film.) Barney and Drummer have a nice chat about all the black ops stuff in a hospital parking lot.
Who cares whether it makes sense? We’re here for the stunts and explosions and they are fine. It’s the winks to the camera and the manly quips that are hard to take. Note to the hard-core fans of hard core, however: while the first two films were rated R, this one is PG-13. Which means, basically, just one f-word and less blood.
Despite their name, of course each and every one of the team is vitally important to Barney, and he has a collection of dog tags from those who didn’t make it hanging in the plane like sad little wind chimes. Barney hates to put people in danger, which is something of an occupational hazard when you are in the tough guy business. When one of his team is hit hard, he fires everyone else and brings in new recruits, which (1) gives us a chance to see him hopping around the world with Kelsey Grammer as his talent scout, for one of those “Magnificent Seven,” “Oceans 11” let’s see what these guys can do episodes, and (2) gives them a chance to cast some people audiences under age 25 might recognize, including boxer Victor Ortiz of “Dancing With the Stars,” Kellan Lutz of “Twilight,” and MMA champion Ronda Rousey. Conveniently, each of them can do two things: fight and hack computers, fight and Parkour, fight and rock a mini-skirt, etc.
They’re going after a bad guy played with way too much relish by Mel Gibson, as though he is saying, “You want to hate me? Bring it on!” Of course he is impossible to find and surrounded by armies of security. And Drummer wants him brought back alive. But this is what Barney does. So, he takes his padawans and pretty soon they’re jumping out of plans and exchanging manly quips. And they’re showing old Pops a thing or two about using computers and being in the 21st century. It works out just fine until it doesn’t, and it’s time for the old folks to come in and save the day.
It’s fun to see these old guys in action, and it gives you a lot of bang-bang for the buck.
Parents should know that this movie includes some strong language and crude insults, extensive and graphic violence with knives, guns, fights, explosions, and many characters are injured or killed.
Family discussion: How did the two generations of Expendables differ? Why did Drummer and Galgo care so much about getting into the fight? Why did Barney take off his protective gear?
If you like this, try: the earlier “Expendables” movies and the 1980’s action films featuring these stars