Gun-toting granddads return
THE EXPENDABLES 3 (PG13)
Action/126 minutes/Opens today
The soldier-for-hire team headed by leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) stage a daring rescue of former team member Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes). The goal is to form a team strong enough to kill a powerful warlord, but they are thwarted by Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), a founding member now out for revenge against Ross and his companions. Ross enlists the help of Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer) to recruit young warriors capable of defeating Stonebanks.
YES, the granddads with guns are back, with tans more orange, veins more bulging and catchphrases with twice the bad*** quotient.
While the weapons are predictably locked and loaded and the pandering is set to high in this third movie, what sets it apart from the first two orgies of bloodletting is the PG13 rating, an attempt by the producers to increase the audience size.
Other than the more kid-friendly format, the computer-generated special effects have been amped up to ludicrous science-fiction levels, perhaps to compensate for the lower adrenalin levels.
Another runaway aspect of the production is the size of the cast, now enlarged with younger actors.
But the oldies should not have bothered recruiting new members: The bad guys still cannot shoot straight, while the good guys never miss.
With enemies like these, who needs friends?