If you’re someone who enjoys a film stuffed with action and huge explosions, followed by car chases, and guns ablaze, The Expendables 3 should be on the top of your list of movies to watch this summer. 

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The film starts out with Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his team of mercenaries called The Expendables, featuring Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner Jenson (Dolph Lundgren), and Toll Road (Randy Couture), on a mission to rescue an imprisoned expendable member, Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes).  Upon rescuing Doctor Death, Barney informs the team that they have an assignment to stop an arms dealer who sells powerful weaponry to a variety of people who should not have their hands on such a thing.  Upon their arrival, they soon discover that they man that they are targeting is none other than Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson).  The thing about Stonebanks though, is that he was Barney’s former partner and who was presumed to be dead until now.  The icing on the cake is that Stonebanks also co-founded The Expendables team.  After an intense fight, Barney and his team barely make it out alive, which forces Barney to make the decision to retire his old team and look for a new, younger crew (Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell, and Victor Ortiz).  Max Drummer (Harrison Ford), a member of the CIA, offers Barney to finish the job that they failed to accomplish.

Unlike its prequels that were so jam packed with action that it was hard to really keep up with the plot, The Expendables 3 had a lot going for it.  Granted, there was a lot of fighting, shooting, and of course, explosions, I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes like I tend to do when there is more action than anything else in a film. With any movie of this genre, you can’t solely rely on all the action to make it a great film, there has to be another quality to it that makes the film rise above its competitors, and in this case, it used humor as that something extra. I found this movie to have a lighter side when compared to its predecessors.  The amount of times I laughed out loud from all the running jokes and witty one-liners was surprising to even myself.  It is a daunting task to be able to balance an intense storyline, hard hitting action, and maintain comedic value, but The Expendables 3 managed to pull it off seamlessly, and from that, never seemed to have a dull moment.


But, what made this franchise so popular was its integration of a star studded cast.  With this many legends all in one room, you would worry about how the chemistry would be like with all these big personalities.  Surprisingly, it was great, no one actor stood out more than the other in regard to their role in the film.  Each actor was able to play off the other flawlessly, and each role that the cast was assigned was very much believable.  When the movie began, Wesley Snipes, who played the character of Doctor Death, commanded the attention for me at first, but as time passed by, I couldn’t help but respect, and even like, each and every character that was introduced.  Stallone played the role as the hardened soldier who cares more about his team than himself, and it was very much believable.  I found myself rooting for him and his crew to come out on top in the end.  Mel Gibson played the evil arms dealer, Conrad Stonewater, and his performance could not have been more exceptional.  He takes the typical villain who strives for money and power and makes it his own, keeping it fresh but at the same time never going away from his original intent.  All in all, this cast was phenomenal and each member played a role that was integral in the plot.

Overall, this film had its high points, and was an action film that was easy to follow.  I didn’t mind all the stunts, flips, car crashes, and explosions, because it made up for it with humor and great acting.  If you’re still on the fence on whether you should give this movie a look at, I will tell you that Arnold Schwarzenegger got to say the line, “Go to the chopper now!” and what more can you really ask for?

The film hits theaters this Friday, August 15, 2014.

-Vinesh Vora