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Expendables 3, Losing Luster
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the gang go on a CIA sanctioned mission to take down the seller of high grade explosives (again), only to find out that their target is none other than Conrad Stonebanks, one of the founding members of the original Expendables. Bad blood between him and Barney is evident as bullets fly and revenge is sought. Barney thinks his current crew can't cut it anymore and seeks out new blood. When his new team is captured and their lives put on a clock, its up to Barney and the old gang to rescue them and put an end to Stonebanks for good.
What We Got
This is going to be pretty brief, but we got literally the exact same thing that we got in the last movie. I know that that could be said for the second in relation to the first, but in this one, the plot barely changed except for the changing of the villain and the inclusion of a few more characters that very likely, we will never see again. I go into these movies knowing the action is going to be over the top, the characters are going to be shallow, and the main attraction is seeing just about everybody that you could think of in the same movie together. That being said, this film was sadly a letdown. Its like they didn't even try to one up themselves in an way other than throwing new people into the movie. Usually this works for this film series, in this case, there was just something more that was missing. The film seemed like it wanted its story to be taken seriously, but this goes against anything that the others have set up before. The plot is supposed to be ridiculous, unbelievable, and cheesy, but this one attempted to venture out of that square. In keeping everything else the same, while trying to be taken seriously, the equation was off balance and was not as harmonious with the other installments in tone and outcome. This was not a bad movie. The action was off the charts in all the best ways, and the awesome selfawareness is ever present. I would recommend a Netlfix or Redbox viewing, or a really cheap matinee. Don't expect a lot and you won't be let down.
This has been thrown around a lot, but are any of these characters REALLY expendable? All of these characters are portrayed as pivotal to the continuation of the franchise, and therefore, none of them can be killed. I would be genuinely surprised is any main character got killed off. Honestly, its starting to feel like they need to kill off a couple to make for a good revenge plot, and to make room for a few new faces in a recurring role, rather than just tacking everybody on like they have been. If I had to guess who they would kill, it would be Jet Li or Randy Couture. Here's why.
Jet Li has had minimal screen time at best in the last two films (including this one). He didn't even have his own scene like they normally do. Li was just kind of there, getting a paycheck. He could be replaced fairly easily by a few up and comers. My personal pick would be Iko Uwais. His work on The Raid and its sequel are physically impressive, let alone just completely amazing to watch. I think he could bring a brand of fighting to the team that hasn't been seen before. We have gotten the MMA style from several members, but the fast paced break-neck action he is known for would be refreshing.
Now for Couture. I like Couture's character. He is surprisingly funny and one of the few members of the team (Li makes the list as well) who can kill you in real life without breaking a sweat. Unfortunately, the writers and directors don't seem to think that after his rather impressive role i the first installment, that he warrants a decent amount of hand to hand combat time like the more central characters do. This to me would be a mercy killing. I would rather see him lose in a fight in the film and die that watch his character's combat sequences reduced to pulling a trigger. As a replacement, I would like to see Liam Neeson step in. If you refer back to my Nonstop blog, I have brought this topic and his resume up before. He wouldn;t be an exact replacement such as the one I recommended for Li, but I think it would change the dynamic in the team in a way that would be very interesting. His character, like all his others, would have to be very reserved and intense. Lundgren already has some of that going on, but this would be something different, a bit more mysterious. If you read that last blog, you can already tell I am a bit of a pro-Neeson individual. I'll watch what he puts out because it's going to be entertaining. This could be the kin of change that the franchise is going to need to continue successfully. Not bringing in even younger people, not bringing in non-action stars (though it worked amazingly with Banderas), but bringing in more of this generations actions stars. THAT is what was awesome about the first installment; seeing the old and the new taking out baddies together in some of the most ridiculously awesome ways that you could think. If they make these few changes, I think they could put this money train back on track for a few more good sequels.
The Expendables 3 Trailer
Has the franchise reached its end?
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What Do You Think?
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