The Expendables series was supposed to be bring back the thrills of the great 80s action films. Nostalgia is the safe go-to for audiences of today, and Stallone knows this. Most of the man’s career has revolved around him playing the same roles for over 30 years. The trailer came out and it was extremely promising. Bringing in actors like Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and what do you know? Stallone was even directing, a man who had proved himself a competent action director. Even of recent years, Rambo IV was pretty awesome. Ironically however, these 80s stars created something as dull and humourless as today’s modern action films. Where was the fun? Where was the one liners? What should have been a spectacle piece with soul was a shaky-cam filled ride of nauseating proportions. Sure there were some small moments of fun, but they were few and far between. So, has the third iteration in the series any good? Not really.
The movie follows The Expendables on a mission to stop a weapon’s trade, they discover an old foe once thought dead (Gibson), takes out one of their own. Their leader, Barney (Stallone), to keep the rest of his Expendables brethren safe, goes on a suicide mission with a new younger team to exact revenge.
Here lies the fundamental problem with the film – the actual Expendables aren’t the focus of the movie. There’s been an attempt by the filmmakers to attract a younger audience by bringing in fresh, younger ‘action stars’ and of course the PG-13 rating, the series’ first. This could have worked, if they hired ANYBODY who had a star credit in the past three years. Instead, the audience is subjected to a bunch of no-name stars running around, spouting annoying banter at one another. The reason why people come to see these movies are for the nostalgia of the past films these actors have been in, and that they are in a film altogether. So when you disband what the audiences came for and replace them with a bunch of nobodies, you’re completely alienating your existing fan base. What people want to see if Rocky and The Terminator killing bad guys together, and when you just replace them with regular mercenaries, it isn’t special to the viewers anymore.