The Expendables

⭐⭐½ averaged across 1 films.

tl;dr: A great premise for a parody that never finds its feet, despite taking three seperate stabs at the single idea it had.

The Expendables III

Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

Please say they're capping this as a trilogy. They aren't? Oh god why...

It's not that the third instalment is any worse than the others. In some ways, it's actually better. For some reason, Expendables the Third chooses to go down that tired trope of bringing in a bunch of young actors to play initially kick-ass "modern" versions of the "beloved" cast, only to ultimately be captured and saved by the "dinosaurs". If Ryan Reynolds couldn't make it work in Blade then Ronda Rousey can't make it work here (even if she's a surprisingly solid actress). I feel like some people will claim that The Expendables were parodying the action genre by engaging this kind of plot, but honestly I can't even tell any more. The original was more an homage than a parody, the second didn't seem to know what the hell it was, and by the third I honestly think that even Stallone has forgotten what the point of this franchise is, beyond making him a stupid amount of money.

We get an even bigger returning cast of action hero "greats", once again with shoehorned cameos and weirdly worked in catch-phrases that just feel awkward, though are less jarring then in the second outing. They do, finally, manage to give Terry Crews a comedy moment that works, but then kill-him-off (without actually killing him) for the rest of the film. Luckily, Antonio Banderas is on hand to fill in the comedy crown; unfortunately, having someone who can actually act around just goes to highlight how bad most of the fare on offer is.

Ultimately, the plot is a little more coherent, though just as dull as previous entries, and it almost feels like character development was attempted. As a result, I'm on the verge of suggesting that the third installment is the best, but it remains extremely generic, at times painfully bad and still fails to live up to the (much better and cleverer) premise of the original trailer.

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