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The Expendables 3

The Expendables 3

USA 2014 - with Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Arnold Schwarzenegger ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:The Expendables 3
Direction:Patrick Hughes
Cinema release:21.08.2014
Production country:USA 2014
Running time:Approx. 127 min.
Rated:From 16 years
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The old warhorses of the expendables around top mercenary Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) are back in action. After they have extended the team by a spectacular liberation action by the fighter Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes) imprisoned for many years, they make themselves immediately to the next order. They are intended to prevent a dangerous weapon from falling into the hands of an internationally sought-after arms dealer. But the operation is proceeding differently than planned. First, Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) is seriously injured. And then Barney has to realize that the arms dealer is his former partner and Expendables co-founder Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), whom he thought he killed ten years ago. When Barney is ordered by the CIA official Max Drummer (Harrison Ford) to arrest Stonebanks, the mercenary makes a difficult decision: he sacks his old team and recruits a group of younger fighters (Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell and Victor Ortiz) together with his old buddy Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer) to do this explosive job. But that doesn't prove to be a very good idea, because soon the freshmen fall into a trap cleverly designed by Stonebanks. But luckily the old Expendables don't let their leader push them onto the siding so fast and show with concentrated power what real guys are capable of. But is that enough to win against a whole army that Stonebanks has gathered around it?

Already three weeks before the US launch of "The Expendables 3" an illegal copy of the film in very good quality circulated on the net, which was then downloaded several hundred thousand times. For the studio, this is the clear reason why the film had a bitter crash landing on the launch weekend in the USA. But that makes it too easy for those responsible. Because there are two reasons against this assumption. Thus, the action-blaster isn't the first movie that appeared on the net before the start. But that didn't hurt all the movies. The Will Smith blockbuster "I am Legend", for example, was available in first-class DVD quality shortly before its launch on the net and yet has recorded over 700 million dollars worldwide. The second reason is the fact that many fans were already averse to the film in the run-up to it, because unlike the first two parts, this time a younger target audience was to be reached and the action was also significantly defused - with the prospect of a harder version in home cinema exploitation.

And this is exactly the real problem of "The Expendables 3": why should fans spend a lot of money on a version they don't want to see? And can even a defused version address a younger target group at all? Which viewers under 18 are actually interested in a troupe of aging action stars? Of course, it's just a speculation that the movie's failure in the USA is due to the fact that you have alienated the loyal fans just because you want to lure viewers into the cinema who aren't actually interested in the movie at all. But it's certainly a more plausible reason than blaming Internet piracy for the whole thing.

Beyond that, there's of course one very important question: is "The Expendables 3" a good film for which it's worth going to the cinema? The answer is very clear: Yes! Yes, when it comes to the action. No, when it comes to the rest of the film, which is a little too gossipy. The last third is pure action and therefore a lot of fun. Especially for children of the 80s it is a party, when Rambo and Riggs beat each other up, while Indiana Jones and the Terminator fire from all pipes against all kinds of bad boys. But as good as this explosive and wonderfully exaggerated action interlude may be, as lengthy and boring are the escalating conversations about war trauma, honor and true male friendship. Something like this can work, but it requires a really good script - and this movie really can't show that.

If "The Expendables 3" just wants to be a meaningless fun movie, then this third use of the action pensioners is really good and at least far superior to the first part. But any attempt to add something like depth to the story is clearly at the expense of entertainment value and makes the film an unnecessarily protracted, half-cooked pleasure. And only then the defused action scenes have a negative impact. Even though the internet piracy may be one reason why the movie disappointed at the US box offices, the rather disappointing script and the completely unnecessary ingratiation with the wrong target group are probably to blame.

Nevertheless: if you watch the film with the right audience (80's action fans) and don't take the whole thing too seriously, even if the staging tries to claim something, then the renewed encounter of some real action icons is absolutely worth seeing. However, those who hope for non-stop action with such cult moments as the wonderfully absurd guest appearance of Chuck Norris in part 2 will surely be disappointed. Therefore the following applies: Worth seeing only with some exceptions!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


  • The Expendables 3
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Cinema trailer for the movie "The Expendables 3 (USA 2014)"
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