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.

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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.

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The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior (2008) – DNF

The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Writer: Randall McCormick
Prequel to: The Scorpion King
Cast: Michael Copon, Karen David, Simon Quarterman, Andreas Wisniewski, Randy Couture

Plot:
Mathayus (Michael Copon) just finished his training as a scorpion warrior, a famous group of bodyguards. But when he returns to his home town, the rightful king has been killed by Sargon (Randy Couture) who has taken over the throne. When Sargon wants Mathayus to kill his own brother, Mathayus makes a run for it, meeting up with his friend from childhood Layla (Karen David) and wisecracking poet Ari (Simon Quarterman) who leads them towards an adventure in the underworld.

This movie is absolutely unbearable. I didn’t think that it would be any good, but I thought it would be entertaining – like the first one. Unfortunately, this is a film without any charm whatsoever. Plus, it’s dumb as hell and, not that the first film was any story continuity miracle, but it pretty much destroys everything that makes it fit together with The Scorpion King (and let’s not even mention The Mummy Returns). At first I was surprised that they remembered that Mathayus had a brother – and then they go ahead and kill him off? [To be fair, it is entirely possible that they bring him back to life since they’re adventuring in the (Greek) underworld but I did not want to stick around and find out.]

Anyway, I managed to watch this movie for about an hour, which is already much more than it deserves. But then I just had to turn it off. Long story short, you really shouldn’t watch it. Nobody should.

the_scorpion_king_rise_of_a_warrior

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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