“For the first Expendables, I was _really_ excited to see this whole cast come together for one explosive film. Jason Statham (my current fave go to action guy), Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Bruce Willis. Name after name of butt kicking awesome. The second one got me excited for the even bigger list of names, especially the addition of Chuck Norris. But also Van Damme and Schwartzenegger. My thought for the third, “”aw how cute, they’re trying this again””.
There was a little been there, done that, and a little less excitement in the explosive. We’re down a couple big names, but we picked up a new crew too. Adding in Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas with the old boys as well as Harrison Ford getting in on the fun, but it was inevitable we got in a young crew too. Seemed a little contrived that Sly’s Barney Ross would insist on firing all his old team and then hire up some new ones, but I went with it. Looks like they’re kinda trying to groom Kellan Lutz to take over the next generation, although it seemed like a sort of half baked attempt. Some glimpses of tortured backstory, trouble with authority figure, but oh whoa we can’t dive in too far because it’s still Sly’s show.
All that said, the single best addition was MMA champ Ronda Rousey. Following in the footsteps of Gina Carano (ooooh there’d be a good addition for the next round), she Rousey makes a butt whooping film debut as a newbie Expendable. For one, I’m very happy to see a girl in there. For two, she was gooooood. I mean the acting, eh, sufficient, but girl can take names and kick ass like the rest of them. Pretty sure I happened to catch one of her fights when I was at my cousin’s around Christmas. So good, and I’m psyched she really will follow Carano and join up with the Fast franchise for the next installment. But having her there just added a nice lighter quality too. I don’t really know how to describe it, but things were less gruff and blandly focused when she was around.
I’m still a little torn on the whole thing though. It’s nice that these guys get to go off and have fun like they do, and seeing such an incredible cast together is such a rare treat. I just wish they’d put more thought into the film as a whole. You can’t sell a franchise just with explosions. You need real stakes and just enough plot to keep your audience hanging on to you. It’s not enough to only have us sit back at watch the pretty, as pretty as it may be
The Expendables 3 – \m/ \m/ \n”