The Expendables 3 (2014, Patrick Hughes)

For this film-by-film look at the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ve been watching his movies in a random order and jotting down a few thoughts. 

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Watched: 14 December 2019
Format: A secondhand DVD.
Seen before? No. 

Review: More is less. This is the third go-round for the ageing action stars of a series that was never brimming with new ideas to begin with. Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his crusty cronies engage in another rescue/revenge/does-anyone-care-what-the-plot-is? mission that entails a lot of shooting and shouting. We again get bucketloads of numbskull action, some tawdry drama delivered by actors who sound like talking is a recently developed skill, and scene after scene dominated by male posturing. 

The newcomers to this retirement-home jolly include Mel Gibson, ignoring his troubled personal life to play the latest boring villain; Wesley Snipes as an original member of the Expendables; Harrison Ford, slumming it to replace Bruce Willis as the team’s CIA boss; Kelsey Grammer, who’s at least watchable playing a laid-back fixer; and Antonio Banderas, who likewise introduces some much-needed humour as a cocky recruit to Ross’s gang.

As with the previous two films, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s contribution as Ross’s foe-turned-uneasy-friend Trent Mauser can best be described as bolted-on. It’s an extended cameo, a few scenes, and he’s there because he’s Arnold Schwarzenegger not because his character is plausibly or even interestingly taking part in the adventure.

Three former brothers in arms out of 10

Next: Batman & Robin

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