Most of the reasons I gave for not watching TMNT were the exact reasons for watching Expendables 3 this weekend: explosions, shaky cam, and celebrity cameos, oh my! The difference here is that the Expendables franchise is completely aware of itself and celebrates that. I watched this movie not for its story quality, but for the sheer joy of watching some of the most famous action heroes of my time blow s%*t up.

Stallone delivered the action movie goods: the friend turned enemy, the few warriors against an entire army, the ultimate battle (with final showdown fight between good guy and bad guy), and the heroes save the day!

What is not important (ie, the plot):

Sylvester Stallone once again plays Barney Ross, the leader of the Expendables. On a mission for the CIA, he discovers that the co-founder of his crew, Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who is supposed to be dead, has become a big-time arms dealer. Ross wants to take Stonebanks down, but realizes it might be a suicide mission so he retires his team (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Wesley Snipes, Terry Crews) and brings in some fresh blood (Antonio Banderas, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz, Glen Powell). Of course, the old crew doesn’t stay retired for long.

What is important (in bullet-point format):

  • Mel Gibson reminds us how insanely good of an actor he is
  • Arnold Schwarzeneggar yelling GET TO THE CHOPPAH
  • Harrison Ford replacing Bruce Willis and the subtle digs against him
  • Antonio Banderas’ silliness in the midst of war
  • Stunts that were off the charts
  • Ronda Rousey’s hand-to-hand combat moves


I haven’t even mentioned that Kelsey Grammer and Jet Li were in this as well. Actually, my only disappointments with the movie were that Jet Li and Terry Crews had such little action time and that Chuck Norris was not involved. Though I’m sure scheduling had more to do with that.

For the most part, the serious dialogue was horrible (except the scene where Gibson taunts Stallone’s character in the van) but it was forgivable. It was funny and there were lots of laughs and cheers from the movie audience.

Who will Stallone round up for the fourth installment? It’s rumored that Pierce Brosnan might be joining the gang. The current cast is the best so far and I’m excited to see what other names pop up. Samuel L. Jackson? Angelina Jolie? The Rock? Jennifer Lawrence? Milla Jovovich? Tom Cruise? John Travolta? The possibilities are endless.

Start shooting, Sly. I’m ready for more.