The Expendables 3 starts smack in the middle of action with the Expendables rescuing Doc (Wesley Snipes) in their trademark “blow it all up” fashion. The story quickly moves into business as the expendables move in on a target who turns out to be a man named Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). Stonebanks and Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) go down a long way as they were the two who practically founded the Expendables but the two parted ways in not so friendly fashion with Ross putting bullets in Conrad. The enmity is further fueled by Conrad when he specifically and brutally shoots one of the Expendables, Hail Caesar (Crews) mocking Ross and his sentimentality. Stonebanks escapes and the Expendables are left ruing their wounds.
Ross realizes that his team might have passed their prime and that taking them against Stonebanks may cost them their lives. So he decided to fire his team and hire some fresh blood. In walk five new expendables who are professional hacker(Glen Powell), close-combat fighter(Ronda Rousey), a soldier(Kellan Lutz) and a man named Galgo (Banderas) who could kill a man with his incessant talks. The new team quickly tracks down Conrad and take him down even sooner but Conrad quickly has the upper hand and imprisons the new team while Ross has a narrow escape. Conrad now challenges Ross to come and save the fresh meat from his wrath. Ross sets out to do the unthinkable but he is not alone in his endeavor.
The Expendables is back with a vengeance. This could easily be the best expendable till date and I am not saying this in haste. The film follows a tried and tested story-line
with set pieces that will give you a déjà vu feeling all throughout but what works for this film is the immense likeability of the characters both the old and the new and the fact that the film takes the action and carnage to a whole new level and is not afraid to travel that extra mile. The film starts off with a bang and never lets go of the breakneck speed that it generates. The second action set piece follows quickly after the first and the third follows quickly after the second. There isn’t a moment to waste as the film jumps from one frying pan onto the other. The characters are fleshed out just enough to make you feel for them.
Mel Gibson makes for a ruthless and effective antagonist who can match Stallone fist for fist and his performance is spellbinding. He gets into these prolonged conversations with different cast members and strangely enough you never feel bored of these discussions and instead come out of these discussions with some added respect and fear factor for the man. Wesley Snipes makes his appearance for the first time and is immensely likeable. He is a knife man like Christmas (Statham) and the tiff between the two is epic to watch. Banderas is genuinely funny and his charisma is one for the record books. Ronda Rousey is smoldering hot and every scene that she appears in will make the guys take a gulp. What is more interesting is the fact that she can actually act and is at home in the few dramatic sequences that she is a part of. Stallone just seems to be getting better and better with every Expendable film that he stars in.
The forte of the film is its action sequences and the film doesn’t disappoint you in that. The climax action sequence which shows a whole building topple after a prolonged fight is a picture for the eye. Doc’s retrieval from a heavily guarded train is another sequence which I thoroughly loved. The sequence involving hand to hand fights are done with breathtaking physicality. Special mention here has to be made of Stallone and his shatteringly real physicality. Even Banderas makes some action sequences special just because of his presence in them. The film however has lesser bloodshed and more of old school action which should save it from the ‘R’ rating making it watchable for a wider audience. I can never forget the disappointment that I had to face taking my underage nephew to watch the previous installment and refused admission by the Plex staff.
Overall, The Expendables 3 is every action junkie’s wet dream. It has every ingredient that goes into making an action film alluring. It has high octane action, good looking people blowing up stuff, a sinister baddie, heightened emotions and above all a happy ending. Whether you are a Stallone fan or not you are bound to love this film if you like action. This could easily be the best action film of the year. For all those looking for sensible cinema look elsewhere.