‘Expendables 3’ much of the same old bloody mess

Sly Stallone is at it again as Barney Ross with his growing team of mercenaries, this time against a former Expendable who’s gone over to the other side, Stonebacks (Mel Gibson, back in action).

If you’ve seen either of the two earlier Expendable flicks and reveled in the violent action, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy “3” because it is basically the same story, although this time the Expendables take on the entire army of an unnamed country --- tanks, artillery, howitzers and troops --- and win. That’s really stretching things, but so what. That’s what Expendable audiences expect.

Lots of buddy stuff, from the early scenes where the Expendables rescue Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes) from a prison train loaded with guards.

A goodly amount of computer-generated images, without which no big action film could possibly show its face. That’s mixed with some real-life crash scenes.

Since Stallone helped write the script, don’t be surprised at how often the screen lights up with Sly full-face looking tough and battered.

Lovely scenes of Sly’s personal transport turbo prop complete with shark-painted nose.

The cast is just what your expect from an Expendables film --- tough and competent in battle, joined by the inevitable female Expendable, Linda (Ronda Rousey). Also aboard are Kelsey Grammar as a retied mercenary and Expendables ally, Harrison Ford as a CIA director and Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former Expandable back in the fold. The old pros do well.

Director Patrick Hughes keeps a modest rein on the action, almost making it all sensible (but it isn’t, of course).

If you go to see this, remember by making this $90 million kerfluge profitable you’re just encouraging No. 4.


•Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross: Leader of the Expendables.

•Jason Statham as Lee Christmas: The team’s knife expert.

•Antonio Banderas as Galgo: a former member of the Spanish Armed Forces, Bosnian war veteran, and expert sharpshooter

•Jet Li as Yin Yang: A hand-to-hand combat expert and former Expendable.

•Wesley Snipes as Doctor Death: A former medic, and one of the original Expendables.

•Dolph Lundgren as Gunner Jensen: Volatile member of the team.

•Kelsey Grammer as Bonaparte: A retired mercenary and ally of the Expendables.

•Randy Couture as Toll Road: The team’s demolitions expert.

•Terry Crews as Hale Caesar: The Expendables’ barrel-weapons specialist.

•Kellan Lutz as John Smilee: A former Navy Seal recruited to the Expendables.

•Ronda Rousey as Luna: An athletic nightclub bouncer recruited by Bonaparte. Rousey filmed her role while training to defend her title at UFC 168.

•Glen Powell as Thorn: a highly trained combat veteran and hacker.

•Victor Ortiz as Mars: A sharpshooter and lethal soldier, who is afraid of heights.

•Robert Davi as Goran Vata: The head of the Albanian mafia.

•Mel Gibson as Conrad Stonebanks: A rogue co-founder of the Expendables and a ruthless arms dealer.

•Harrison Ford as Max Drummer: A CIA field operations officer and pilot who manages the Expendables.

•Arnold Schwarzenegger as Trench Mauser: Barney’s former teammate and sometimes rival

Directed by Patrick Hughes

Produced by

Avi Lerner

Kevin King-Templeton

Danny Lerner

Les Weldon

John Thompson

Screenplay by

Creighton Rothenberger

Katrin Benedikt

Sylvester Stallone

Story by

Sylvester Stallone

Based on

Characters by

David Callaham,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Music by

Brian Tyler


Peter Menzies, Jr.

Edited by

Sean Albertson

Paul Harb

Running time

126 minutes, rated PG-13

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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