Sunday, 17 August 2014


Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Dolph Lundgren, Wesley Snipes, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Kellen Lutz, Ronda Rousey, and Kelsey Grammer.

Directed by Patrick Hughes. Based on a story by Sly. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX MINUTES LONG!

I think the reason why this film is so long is because all of the above named actors had an allotted period of screen time as guaranteed by their contracts.  

Right, this is the best film of the series and quite likely the last judging by it's opening weekend haul in the states. The story follows Sly as he sacks the old guard of Expendables and hires the next generation of young mercenaries, while dealing with his old business partner - as played by Mel Gibson - who's returned from the dead, despite having never been mentioned ever before by anybody, ever, in these movies, almost as if he's been invented just for this film.

The action is bloodless, endless, and effortless and the explosions are nearly all CGI or enhanced by computer. The body count is way up in the thousands and utterly without effect, gore or emotion. Much of the film follows the Mahogany-coloured Stallone as he drives around the world with Kelsey Grammer chatting about the stuff including a hilarious gag about cancer while recruiting a selection of pretty young murderers, killers and psychopaths for his gang of 'no women, no kids' shell-shocked killers for hire.

Then it's back to the action, indeed the chatting bits nicely punctuate the action allowing the audience's hearing to return to normal or at least to lose the high pitching buzzing just in time for the next round of explosions.

The new guard get powned by Mel, naturally, and taken hostage so the old guard come back, team up and take on Mel's army of mercs in a huge building which you just know is going to explode at the end of the film and collapse (it's in the trailer), but not before Sly and Mel have had one last mano-a-mano fist-fight to the death.

This time round the film's been given a helpful 12a certificate which means that under 12s can go along and see this if accompanied by an adult, which I for one think is a good idea. I'm much happier to watch this sort of thing with all blood  removed, I don't want 8 year olds to see what actual violence looks like! My god, what sort of sick fuck are you? You want children to see blood spurts and knives going in? My god!

Of course these films need to be 12a, cos most children given the choice between watching a film about men older than their grandfathers kill people or watching Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformer 4 or Turdtles is going to want to watch this over those!

I just wish Sly had had the guts to do a balls out 18 cert action film like the good old days, like Predator, my god that would have been amazing.

Anyway, I'm rambling, it's the shell-shock. This isn't all bad, it's rather fun, the action's okay, the banter is funny and Mel Gibson is fantastic! He just turns up and walks away with the whole film with the best lines and a face that looks great in close up. But the wooden ham hock award goes to the jowly Harrison Snored, sorry Ford who growls through his lines, looked terrible in close up and reading his lines off a cue board just behind the camera.

Beyond that, this wasn't that bad. I quite enjoyed it and look forward to watching the harder cut when it's released on Blu Ray.


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