The Expendables 3 (2014)

The Expendables 3
Director: Patrick Hughes
Writer: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Sequel to: The Expendables, The Expendables 2
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Wesley Snipes, Mel GibsonAntonio Banderas, Jet Li, Kelsey Grammer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison FordGlen PowellVictor OrtizRonda RouseyKellan Lutz

Plot:
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the rest of his crew (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jet Li) have just freed former Expendable Doc (Wesley Snipes) from prison and are headed to Somalia now to take down an arms dealer. Said arms dealer – Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) – turns out to be another former Expendable, a founding member in fact. The fight quickly turns extremely personal and Barney, worried that they are all too old for the job, decides to find younger fighters to get rid of Stonebanks once and for all.

It might have been the overexposure because of the triple feature (I doubt it) but Expendables 3 didn’t blow me away. It wasn’t as funny as the second one and the host of new characters the throw at you is seriously displaced.

expendables3

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Re-Watch: The Expendables 2 (2012)

The Expendables 2
Director: Simon West
Writer: Richard Wenk, Sylvester Stallone
Sequel to: The Expendables
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Nan Yu, Liam Hemsworth, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Charisma Carpenter
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the rest of his crew (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jet Li and Liam Hemsworth) have just saved a Chinese businessman who was kidnapped, when Church (Bruce Willis) calls in a favor: they are supposed to retrieve something from a safe in a crashed plane in the Albanian mountains. To crack that safe, they need to take Maggie (Nan Yu) along (though Yin Yang [Jet Li] stays in China). What should be a very quick and not very eventful mission, goes south when Villain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) appears.

When I saw Expendables 2 for the first time, I finally watched the kind of film I wanted The Expendables (1) to be and it made me happy (I liked it so much I watched the first one again which I shouldn’t have). On second watch it isn’t quite as good anymore, but it is still above and beyond the first film.

The_Expendables_2

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Re-Watch: The Expendables (2010)

The Expendables
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Writer: Dave Callaham, Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
The Expendables are a group of mercenaries, most notably Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Ying Yang (Jet Li) and Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren). They mostly go around blowing up bad guys and getting tattoos from Tool (Mickey Rourke), who always throws some wisdom into the mix. When Barney gets the job to get rid of the General, a tyrant on a small Latin-American Island, he has to face is own humanity. And he has to blow a lot of shit up.

I knew that The Expendables wasn’t a good film. In the spirit of completism and masochism, puzzledpeaces and me decided to take the release of the third one as the perfect opportunity to make it a triple feature. So here we are and I can honestly say that it is even worse than I remembered.

the_expendables

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The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Director: Rob Cohen
Writer: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Sequel to: The Mummy, The Mummy Returns
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, Luke Ford, John Hannah, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Isabella Leong, Russell Wong, Liam Cunningham, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang

Plot:
Alex (Luke Ford), son of the famous, but retired archeologists Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evy (Maria Bello) tries to make a name for himself through a dig in China. And when he digs up the tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Jet Li), his efforts seem to have been successful. Then his parents turn up in China as well, on one last mission. And the Dragon Emperor comes back to life. Things go quickly downhill from there.

Where The Mummy Returns was a fun sequel, this one wasn’t anymore. It was just sub-par in pretty much every single aspect.

The-Mummy-Tomb-of-the-Dragon-Emperor

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Long men fei jia [Flying Swords of Dragon Gate] (2011)

Long men fei jia
Director: Hark Tsui
Writer: Hark Tsui
Cast: Jet Li, Xun Zhuo, Kun Chen, Yuchun Li, Mavis Fan, Siu-Wong Fan, Chia Hui Liu
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Two bureaucratic agencies – the East Bureau and the West Bureau – have been gaining, and abusing, power. Only a handful of people are rebelling against their rule. Among those are Zhao Gwai On (Jet Li). The events lead him and a very mixed group of people with very different goals to the Dragon Inn, right before a sandstorm is about to hit.

Flying Swords of Dragon Gate is a beautiful, beautiful movie – one were you really feel like the 3D pays off. And, despite weak plotting, it is fun and engaging.

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The Expendables 2 (2012)

The Expendables 2
Director: Simon West
Writer: Richard Wenk, Sylvester Stallone
Sequel to: The Expendables
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Nan Yu, Liam Hemsworth, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Charisma Carpenter

Plot:
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the rest of his crew (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jet Li and Liam Hemsworth*) have just saved a Chinese businessman who was kidnapped, when Church (Bruce Willis) calls in a favor: they are supposed to retrieve something from a safe in a crashed plane in the Albanian mountains. To crack that safe, they need to take Maggie (Nan Yu) along (though Yin Yang [Jet Li] stays in China**). What should be a very quick and not very eventful mission, goes south when Villain*** (Jean-Claude Van Damme) appears.

The Expendables 2 is everything The Expendables should have been already, but was too shoddily directed and taking itself way too seriously for. In this one, they just go with the flow and end up with a film that is pretty damn satisfying.

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The Expendables (2010)

The Expendables is Sylvester Stallone‘s vanity project, starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Plot:
The Expendables are a group of mercenaries, most notably Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Ying Yang (Jet Li) and Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren). They mostly go around blowing up bad guys and getting tattoos from Tool (Mickey Rourke), who always throws some wisdom into the mix. When Barney gets the job to get rid of the General, a tyrant on a small Latin-American Island, he has to face is own humanity. And he has to blow a lot of shit up.

The Expendables should have been great cinema: that cast and a bunch of fights and explosions, whatever could go wrong? The answer is simple: Sylvester Stallone. He should have never directed it, and neither he nor any of the other writers should be allowed to get within 200 meters of a script ever again. Also, everyone in this project should grow a sense of humor (except for Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who seem to have one already).

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