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    August 28, 2014


    Apparently, retirement is not part of their plan. Not for Rambo. Not for Terminator. Not for Mad Max. Definitely not for Han Solo too. Already reaching out into its third entry in just four years, the Sylvester Stallone-led Expendables franchise has just gone from cheesy old-fun and good popcorn flick, to more like dutiful live-action filler for the August date. The more degrading performance of the franchise in terms of story quality, set-piece execution, and the decision to recruit young blood cannot go unnoticed. Perhaps, the franchise fatigue is already settling in, sooner than expected.

    DO WE STILL NEED THEM?: So you are thinking that they must have run out of proper idea to get this bunch of mercenaries out in action to blow something up or to spray bullets on the poor baddies. “Miraculously”, Sly and the rest of the writers are able to pit one for this movie. The team is on a personal mission to rescue one of their old-brother in arms from years of confinement, and then heads to Mogadishu for a walk in the park mission to apprehend an international wanted-weapon smuggler who turns out to be another old-brother in arms of their own who became rogue years ago. Barney is not willing to risk his team members for the next suicide mission, and that he decided to recruit new members. How about that?

    THINGS THAT STILL WORTH: The plot in this entry is more of less the same with the predecessor – so I guess the novelty is not the main focus here. And once again, the Expendables team is trapped in a cat-and-mouse game fuelled by revenge over the tragedy that happened to one of their own. But we all know what to look for or precisely how will this end after the 121 minutes running time – that an extravaganza of crowded aging macho-men and their spectacular bombing affair will be installed, and your job is to sit tight. To be frank, no matter how much this formula is repeated in every Expendables film, there are always things to enjoy for. Canny and cheesy one-liner spouted by all of the characters, over-the-top actions and simple plot do all the good work.

    THINGS THAT DON'T: But there are bigger problems too. The plot, even in its simplistic mode, feels more and more like a heavy burden and dragging at most while the repetitive-nature of the plot will finally take its toll in wearing down the sentiment by the time you reach the last act. This third movie also has the weakest plot development, most sporadic action intensity and the weakest talents in the whole franchise. The old Expendables are fine, but the younger members which include Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell and Ronda Rousey are a total farce. I think a lot of people are not too please with the decision to water down the action to achieve a milder rating – but the way I see it, it is still too “violence” for the PG13 though.

    MEL SAVES THE DAY: Luckily though, the dynamic of the movie is practically saved by the inclusion of Mel Gibson in the villain role as well as Antonio Banderas. Honestly speaking, Stonebanks, the mercenary rival played by Gibson is so captivating and standout that you will easily recognize him as the best villain in the franchise. But the script did no justice to give him a proper philosophy to terror. Banderas as a motormouth mercenary keeps the laugh going.

    If you enjoy 80s action movies, you will enjoy the presence of The Expendables 3. If you are looking for good quality movie to go with your day, this one packs little of them. If you want to see Mel Gibson doing a mini-career comeback, this is the one you catch for his maniac role. Otherwise, as a package, The Expendables 3 is two steps down from its predecessors.

    Story: 2.5
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 3.5
    Effects: 3.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 11.8/20.0

    "The Expendables 3" stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford; presented by LionsGate (distributed through TGV); directed by Patrick Hughes from the screenplay by Dave Callaham and Sylvester Stallone. The movie is rated 18 and was released in Malaysia since August 14, 2014. The movie runs about 126 minutes.
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