"THE EXPENDABLES 3" from Lionsgate opens Friday, August 15, 2014.
STARRING: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jet Li, Antonio Bandaras, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Terry Crews, Robert Davi, Randy Couture, Kellan Lutz and Ronda Rousey.
DIRECTOR: Patrick Hughes ("Red Fall")
SYNOPSIS: Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson) who years ago co-founded the Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone Barney was forced to kill...or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end the Expendables. However, Barney has other plans with a new era of younger tech-savvy team members.
Like the first two installments, this film is your basic action movie formula: set up the problem, establish the characters, get the action underway and blow up as much stuff as possible. Stallone and company do just that and yet many critics are whining that it's just not enough fun. Here's a solution for those fun-seeking scribes. Obtain $90 million, hire a crew and director, cast some actors and make your own movie that is more fun. Then you can pat yourselves on the back and read the reviews written by Stallone and company.
Again, this is escapist film-making at its best with an awesome cast. Mel Gibson is at his best again circa "Lethal Weapon" and "Signs". Harrison Ford fits into any role, especially when he's in charge of something. Kelsey Grammer is a natural mercenary and Wesley Snipes is a welcome addition. So is Antonio Bandaras. No one can fault the casting here.
This film is a transition of sorts, playing up the younger cast members to carry on parts four and five in the coming years. It's the perfect vehicle for actors to step into the cast and drop out if they desire (like Bruce Willis). It's already being rumored that Pierce Brosnan (of James Bond fame) has agreed to a role in an upcoming installment. The same is true for Hulk Hogan. This franchise is not dead yet and will outlive the whining of the critics.