REVIEW: The Expendables 3 (2014) - ManlyMovie

REVIEW: The Expendables 3 (2014)


Runtime: 126 Mins
Rated: PG-13
What To Expect: Here comes the retro action Hindenberg, piloted by an exposure-drunk Sylvester Stallone

Years from now people will look back at this slapstick and say, man, what a waste.  Technically speaking, it’s the biggest assembly of action stars to ever appear in a movie.  Go ahead and look over the others, even the first two movies, they don’t have the fire power on display here.  This cast is unprecedented.  And given their age and the fact that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, it’ll never happen again.  They blew it.  People are talking about the PG-13 rating, but the problems of this movie are much more serious than that.  The Expendables 3 is a bush league farce that disrespects every one of its stars but one, Sylvester Stallone.

In the third go around, they didn’t bother with a plot.  Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), former Expendable, shoots one of The Expendables in the ass.  Temporarily placing him in hospital.  This routine combat injury drives Barney Ross over the edge, seemingly, as he disbands The Expendables.  Out for revenge, Ross recruits some younger mercenaries to help him do the job, because he will not be emotionally attached to them, should they also receive flesh wounds.  Even better, with the biggest stars in action history out of the way, Sly gets to hog more of your screen and pitch you the idea of future PG-13 movies starring unheard-of bums.  Sorry, but who the fuck did I pay to see this movie for?

Sylvester Stallone, Avi Lerner and any of the other 16 (!)  producers sure do like to see them dollar bills stack up.  They intended to use the good names of Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li and others to lure us into said sales pitch for future Expendables spin off material.  That’s why the movie is 25 minutes longer, those minutes go not towards our favourite stars, but to people we don’t know or care about.  Think The Expendables, five years from now, with Kellen Lutz and company – and of course a Stallone cameo.  Case in point – in order to facilitate this, Arnold Schwarzenegger, probably the greatest action icon in film history, takes a back seat to Ronda Rousey.  Outrageous.

The movie also reeks of cheapness.  The corner cutting permeates everything about it.  From the SEGA Genesis ‘CGI’, to scenes being filmed once again in abandoned warehouses and airfields.  What the fuck happened to the half a billion we gave you on ticket and Blu-Ray sales for the first two movies?  You couldn’t for once give us a movie with a budget?  The best illustration of this streak of cut-price film making comes with the final fight.  John Rambo Vs. Martin Riggs?  Nah, it’s a fucking disaster.  Filmed deliberately from a distance and in the dark to try and cover the fact that this duel of the ages is filmed almost exclusively using stunt doubles.  And once again Stallone kicks ass with Barney Ross being untouchable.  Steve Austin, c-rate action star, kicked his ass in the first movie, but Mel Gibson’s stunt double catches a brief beating in this movie?  Why?

Hey, The Expendables 3 is also PG-13.  At the expense of the core audience, the people who grew up with R-rated action, they said fuck you.  We’re going to try and get some extra money out of kids who have never heard of Mel Gibson and most certainly have not heard of dinosaur Kelsey Grammer.  Recently, even Wesley Snipes said that his kids have no real idea how famous he used to be.  His own fucking kids!  In order to make the family friendly cut, showing how much for granted they take you, action sequences are crudely shortened leaving them unintuitive and disjointed.  Not to mention blood free.  A movie like this without sex, swearing and violence is like a Mustang without a V8.  Shame on them for castrating it.

Now and again, director Patrick Hughes comes close to shooting some sweet action sequences, that’s just one more sad thing about it.  He’s a competent director and I bet you he’s filmed more good stuff  than we haven’t seen.  But his work has been plundered by the MPAA and Avi Lerner’s team of ruthless editors.  This is why he was hired and this is why Mel said no.  Creighton Rothenberger’s writing also would’ve  fed us what we wanted, with Wesley Snipes taking out a fool troop of Special Forces soldiers in a fight scene all by himself, and another scene where Statham cuts a man in half with an axe.  These scenes are not in the movie.  Why?  Finally, there’s Mel Gibson.  Mel is a pro, guys.  He does this stuff standing on his head.  He’s the best thing about the movie and puts the whole thing to shame.  But Jesus, I just hope he never watches it.

The Expendables 3 is a disaster, it’s not that it’s a 2/10 movie, it’s a catastrophic and complacent destruction of potential.  Good job Sylvester, you sullied your career.



  1. Cyrus

    August 11, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Haha I was waiting for this and can only respond with this

    A deserved takedown

  2. Mucho Macho

    August 11, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Good review Knight rider..
    Well written , illustrating why the film sucks , not just cause of the rating.
    I havent seen it.. but as i wrote b4 on the comments section of a previous story, theres probably a better movie in an editing suite somewhere.
    Austin kicking Stallones ass happened cause Sly was still humble at the time. Van Damme vs Stallone had a good build up, but all too quick. Van damme.vs Arnold & Sly would have been awesome.
    If indeed was one last ride as advertise , why not go all out with a bang!
    Shame though..oh well..
    Life goes on..maybe we’ll get humble, down Stallone again..thats when he is at his best

  3. Lo Stallone Italiano

    August 12, 2014 at 12:11 am

    I’m sorry for you but I think that after a number of attacks from your site to Stallone and the producers for the transition to PG-13 (wrong choice even for me), this review is not credible. It ‘clear for months that for you the film would be a flop, there was no need of a review!
    I still have not seen the movie and I’ll wait to see it at the theater, so maybe it will be a flop for me, but you’ve talked a lot of decisions and the cast and little of the film. According to this reasoning, I think that Fast & Furious 7 will be a flop! But I’m glad that you, like other reviewers at this time, have recognized the skill of the new director Patrick Hughes. And in this case I agree with you: the PG-13 has worsened his work: in fact I am convinced that Hughes had been called to direct an R-rated film, and he has directed this kind of film, but then there was the choice of PG-13 and the cuts that have resulted. But in this case the film can still improve because in a few months will be released on blu-ray with the uncensored version!

  4. Saverio

    August 12, 2014 at 12:20 am

    I laughed at this article cause it was genuinely funny & I can feel your anger. I thought your rating would be more harsh than what u gave it. The more articles I read about this movie, the more things & conspiracies I think about why they made the rating PG-13. Its infuriating! They put Kellen Lutz in it & make it PG-13 so the kids can & want to go. That’s my interpretation. You’re right, I’m not paying money to see those people. I feel its marketed for teenagers & not me, 34, who grew up watching Sly & Arnolds VHS tapes. I feel left out in the cold. I really do. I hope they get what they deserve in the box office, even though they’re already paid. Oh well, we still have Gareth Evans……

  5. Nuj

    August 12, 2014 at 12:54 am

    You rirght it isn’t just the PG 13. It’s the overbloated cast of people no cares about like Kellan Lutz or Victor Ortiz and I’m sorry even guys like Banderas/Grammer do not fit in this movie. The starting action scenes/film seemed ok until he went on this stupid journey to recruit these younger expendables at the expense of all the people we want to see. It only picks up again until the final big action scene, but even that isn’t anything special. You’ve seen it before, but better in even Rambo IV or the previous expendables. Like you said the CGI is crap, stallone was highligting the big “helicopter Fight” at the end when its just a pile of CGI trash. The final brawl between GIbson and Stallone was nothing compared to the final battle between JCVD and Stallone. The list can go on but all in all a disappointment for sure for alot of the fans.

  6. TheOldMcClane

    August 12, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Boycott this PG-13 shit.

  7. predator spirit

    August 12, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Damn, this review will make cactus spade and andrew cry boo hoo.

    Agreed man, you’re 100% right, i think this movie will flop hard and it’s fucking deserved.

  8. Mucho Macho

    August 12, 2014 at 2:46 am

    1) From the Sega Genesis CGI
    2)What happened to The half billion in ticket sales & blu ray sales? Couldnt u have given us a movie with a budget
    3) i hope mel gibson never watches this

    Gotta say Knight Rider..that was some funny shit.

  9. frenchpred

    August 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    This movie should have been a masterpiece of violence with Mel fucking Gibson as the fial Boss of the game ! Instead we got this crappy cgi fest focusing on a bunch of teens with a punchable face, ,ot enough Mel, not enough Wesley or any of the old Expendables.No blood and quick cuttaway to softise the violence.
    Sly, egomaniac and sellout, you’re DEAD to the fans !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The_Night_Rider

      August 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      The fight was lightyears behind Mel vs Busey. And I know Mel and Stallone aren’t spring chickens anymore but they didn’t hold back to save their backs and knees, they held back to cut corners and rip us off. I am the consumer and I am pissed off.

  10. Felton Raiman

    August 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Unrated cut will only make action scenes enjoyable. But even if the action scenes are going to be the best in Ex franchise. Whole movie is still going to suck. I gave EX3 4 out of 10. Unrated cut will probably get 5 or 6/10. But that’s about it.

  11. Mucho Macho

    August 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Remember that pic of Mel ” THE Real Mad Max” Gibson coming out of the gym last year..Mel looked ripped..he could kick some fatty , latte drinking ,commie, flanal wearing ,20 something hipsters ass 4 sure.
    To much $$$$$ spent on actors for a few days work & shit actors nobody wanted to see in the first place.

  12. Jeff

    August 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Really, like WTF about that fight scene near the end? Less than a friggin’ minute! Talk about anticlimactic! And how about that CGI parachute early in the film as Glen Powell falls? I laughed my butt off. This entire film is a mess all around. I’m still stunned that Stallone even got the hare-brained idea to make it PG13. For God’s sake, IF there is an EX4, I hope they learn a sore lesson and go back to making the movies the RIGHT way.

    • The_Night_Rider

      August 12, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      With Stallone’s joking at the French promotion, I highly doubt he’s too put out by all this.

  13. Alonso

    August 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    5/10 is WAY too high, why did you give it 5???


  14. Dino Bambino

    August 13, 2014 at 12:39 am

    An interview with director Patrick Hughes has just hit the web a couple of hours ago:

    He calls the movie a ‘schedulling nightmare’, and seems pretty cagey when questioned about the rating. He’s not even sure if The Raid remake will be R or PG-13!

    His description of how EX3 was filmed makes things so much clearer as to why the editing is so fucked up.

  15. Mucho Macho

    August 13, 2014 at 1:01 am

    I feel 4 patrick hughes the director…
    Listen u in australia..directed a small action movie & its seen by a legendary movie star, & he is impressed. He offers u a chance at directing a big holllywood movie that features more iconic, legendary actors. So why the hell not jump at the chance?!?
    I sure as shit would have , as many of u would have as well. U respect the guy, u are grateful for the chance but when u disagree, u feel like he might take it as a sign of u been an ungrateful prick, so u keep quiet..its quite a the dilemma

  16. Glen

    August 15, 2014 at 3:09 am

    I just saw it and was expecting a lot worse for all the negative publicity, yes the PG part sucked, but I thought part 2 felt more PG than this one did. There is room for improvement, but it was a lot better than expected. I rather enjoyed it. An R rated BLU ray version will hopefully give this flick the full justice it deserves.

  17. JJR

    August 17, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Brief rewrite:

    -Terry Crews dies from his wounds

    -no Ross ditching the EX team in favour of the kidz (no expendakidz or Fraiser in this)

    -Sly gets kidnapped by Stonebanks. gets tortured Rambo 2 style

    -Couture, Statham, Dolph, Snipes & Bandarus (along with Ford and Arnold in the chopper) do the rescue mission (Snipes in the Sly role leading the team)

    -Mel v Sly fight lasts 5 minutes

    -rated R

  18. Amthyre

    August 17, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I just turned 44 and do not feel betrayed one bit by Expendables 3. Is the plot a bit simplistic? Yes. It has to be in order to give that many people screen time. And I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s not about giving you the movie you want. It’s about them making the movie they want and throwing in tons of nods to popular movies back then.

    Here you have a movie that is loaded with talent instead of a ton of extras (not including the enemy soldiers and crap). Most movies have only 1 or two big names involved. Expendables gives you Six (Sly, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Jet Li, and Dolph Lundgren). That’s before you even throw in Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammar and Antonio Banderas. Did you honestly expect a deep moving script? Ever since the 1st Expendables, I’ve known what to expect — not much. Just enjoy the fact you have this ensemble on screen at the same time with some decent wisecracks that make you laugh.

    I get the references they made.
    You get the references made.
    Will the younger generation?? Probably not.

  19. Lorenzo VonMatterhorn

    June 16, 2015 at 4:26 am

    Great review. I also like how you mentioned Stallone hogging the screen-time, I created a thread talking about this –

  20. Andymovieman

    February 1, 2016 at 3:51 am

    The weakest expendables movie I’ve ever seen. I hated the idea how they went in the wrong direction with the pg13 rating and the young blood and the fact that they didn’t kill off any expendables members. Sly is such a pussy and an asshole too. Mel Gibson didn’t have screen time with either Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger like I wanted to see. At least Arnold and Sly had screen time with Harrison Ford and sly with Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas with Wesley snipes and Dolph Lundgren since those three played villains up against Stallone before.