Review: Banderas renders rest of the guys more 'Expendable' than ever
Antonio Banderas pretty much steals “The Expendables 3.” But at this stage in that winded franchise, that amounts to petty larceny.
Adding the chatty, animated and action-friendly Banderas and Wesley Snipes as new “Expendables,” and Mel Gibson as an arms-dealing villain, amounts to a significant trade-up from the likes of Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris, mercifully missing in action.
Banderas is hilarious, mainly in the third act, and Snipes is welcomed with a decent action opening. He plays a guy the gang breaks out of some former Soviet prison. His offense? “Tax evasion!”
Harrison Ford lets only a hint of embarrassment sneak into his turn as the new guy who gives the team of C.I.A.-hired mercenaries their missions.
But it's when the film deviates from the “bunch of has-beens trying to be hard” formula that “Expendables” is most disposable.
After one of their number takes a bullet, Barney (Sylvester Stallone) lays them off and rounds up younger recruits — played by Kellan Lutz, mixed-martial arts star Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell — to go catch the murderous arms dealer (Gibson) that Barney thought he'd killed years ago.
The recruiting-the-new-team bit is dull and jokey. But Banderas, as a Spanish chatterbox named Galgo, is the wildcard, a man hungry for a mission. Every scene, every “Puss-n-Boots” line, the guy kills. Even when he's killing, and there's a lot of that, because this movie has the highest body count this side of “World War Z.”
It's obvious that the stunt men are doing most of the heavy lifting here. The one person truly at home in her fights is Rousey, and she's too green to be anything other than a stiff as an actress.
Gibson, tanned and twisted, dives into the bad-guy trash talk. “I'll open up your meat-shirt” and do something “with your heart,” he hisses. We buy it.
But we also buy what Trench, the Arnold Schwarzenegger middle-man character says, midway through the picture.
“Hurry up. It's boring.”
Roger Moore reviews movies for McClatchy News Service.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ewan McGregor to direct film in Western Pa.
- Review: ’Child 44’ ends up more like ‘CSI USSR’
- DVD reviews: ‘The Babadook,’ ‘Big Eyes’ and ‘Maps to the Stars’
- Review: ‘True Story’ handsomely made but misguided
- Review: ‘Monkey Kingdom’ cliques might click with audience
- Review: ‘Unfriended’ uses unique approach to create scares