Movie Review: The Expendables 3 (2014)

Expendables 3

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 The Expendables 3 Trailer (Trailer from Youtube).   The primary conflict in this action sequel is man versus man, as Sylvester Stallone again reprises his role as Barney Ross, leader of the mercenary team known as the Expendables.   Jason Statham also reprises his role as former British Army S.A.S. commando Lee Christmas, for a second time, while Dolph Lundgren again reprises his role as Gunnar Jensen. Randy Couture is also back, as “Toll Road”, while Terrence Crews is back as well, reprising his role as “Haile Caesar”. The story begins with  the first four above named characters rescuing another mercenary, a former Expendable played by Wesley Snipes, who has already been imprisoned in some fictitious overseas country for eight years.  As can be expected, the action is very intense as automatic weapons are fired from both sides. These five Expendables then join Haile Caesar for a covert mission in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia.   There, they are to capture Conrad Stonebanks, a rogue former Expendable played by Mel Gibson, who is wanted by the International Court in the Hague, Netherlands, for war crimes.  This mission, sanctioned by a U.S. government official played by Harrison Ford, fails as Haile Caesar is shot and wounded during the ensuing fire fight and is effectively taken out of most of the story. What is of particular interest here is that Conrad Stonebanks is played with the exact same demeanour and ferocious intensity that Mel Gibson had achieved, with his character Martin Riggs, in all four Lethal Weapon movies.  Harrison Ford’s government agent in this movie is very identical to his role as Jack Ryan, the character he had played in the action movies Patriot Games (1992) and A Clear and Present Danger (1994).  Also, Antonio Banderas stars here as Gargo, a crazed individual troubled by his violent past.  Having served with the Spanish Foreign Legion in Croatia at some point during the 1990’s, he was to later serve in an ill-fated mercenary unit that got annihilated (wiped out) in the city of Benghazi during the 2011 Libyan Revolution .   Added to this cast is a list of newer and younger  Expendables, these played by Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey and Glen Powell.   These new combatants are recruited by both Barney Ross and “Bonaparte”, an agent played by Kelsey Grammer.  Audiences of this movie are also treated to a very intense battle scene involving the Expendables, both young and old, being subjected to a massed ground assault by enemy troops accompanied by what appear to be Russian-made T-80 main battle tanks, along with an aerial assault by armed helicopters, while confined within a massive fortress.  However, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger  and Jet Li arrive just in time to turn the tide of this battle, which is also fought in a fictitious country.  An all star cast and heroic action scenes make this a highly recommended movie for what is left of this summer.  (Article by Freelance Writer B. E. Shibley)

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