100 Movie Days: Day 8 - The Expendables 3 (2014)

Video piracy at its most potent.

The Expendables 3 has a North American release today more than three weeks after a copy was leaked and torrented nearly 200,000 times in a day. That number rose to over a million in four days and as of August 10th, it has doubled to 2.2 million. This was a huge leak and a devastating blow to the box office success of this movie.

In 2009, X-Men Origins: Wolverine leaked nearly six weeks before it's North American release and made $373 million in it's theatrical run. It was said to have underperformed due to piracy. I somewhat agree. It was a combination of piracy as well as just being a terrible movie. As for The Expendables 3, I think such a leak will have a much larger impact. With the prevalence of illegal downloads and P2P sharing in conjunction with ticket prices rising in the last five years, it can only make things worse.

Sly, you should know by now that whatever you put down on paper makes absolutely no sense. You are the Charles Barkley of the film industry. Plot is of no importance in this post but there is plenty of action to go around. The old crew of Statham, Crews, Lundgren, Couture, and newly freed Wesley Snipes are "retired" when ex-Expendable Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) takes one of them out. Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammar) is an old friend of Barney and helps him find a young new crew to go after Stonebanks. Kellan Lutz, Glen Powell, Ronda Rousey, and Victor Ortiz form the new crew. They do things a little differently but get things done. Unfortunately, they get caught and Barney has to gather up whoever he can to get them out and bring Stonebanks down.

By the way, the name Conrad Stonebanks sounds like the name of a villain of a short story that was written by a remedial 7th grader....that got a D-.

The acting is for the most part pretty atrocious. Harrison Ford, Arnie, and Jet Li make appearances but they are the C-team of the movie. Notable exceptions are Kellan Lutz who doesn't do so bad especially as Stallone's counterpart and leader of the even worse Junior Expendables. Gibson is actually pretty good as Stonebanks but he would have been more intimidating had he kept the beard. I enjoyed Grammar's role probably because he was the only one hired based on acting ability rather than action star history or potential. Antonio Banderas is my favourite part of the movie. He is a talkative Spaniard itching for a new team and some action. He brings the comic relief which makes you forget about some of the plot holes and phoned-in performances. I'd like to add that Arnold does bring back his "Get to the chopper" line and it's great fun.

The Expendables 3 is not much different than its predecessors. No one reloads, no good guy gets shot (unless used as a plot device), bad guys go down like flies, and there's a shot of Sly still trying to run in epic fashion even though he's nearly 70. It was a little jarring to see a little too much CG where plain old special effects and rigged explosions would have done nicely. Despite all this, there were good parts too. The action was well distributed amongst across the old and new teams and it was nice to see the physicality of the new team. It was a nice break from seeing guys that are anywhere from 20-40 years too old for action still take on stunts. It does leave ground for a new wave of Expendables but sadly they will be just like any other action movie cast and will probably tank shortly after.

All in all, the movie is exactly as you'd expect; somewhat entertaining, no brains, just brawn, with a few little nuggets of gold hidden amongst the sea of excrement. I would say if you're a fan of the series, watch it on the big screen and support the franchise you love, especially if you're wanting a fourth movie. Just go in with low expectations and you'll probably have a good time and quickly forget all about it. If you're not a fan of action movies or just a fan of proper action movies, just ignore this because it's not very good. 


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