The Expendables 3 (Cert 12, 126 mins)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Antonio Banderas, Dolph Lundgren, Harrison Ford, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kelsey Grammer.
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his crew of battle-hardened mercenaries - Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) - orchestrate a prison breakout. Their target: original Expendables member Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes), who has been off the grid for several years. The bolstered team heads to Mogadishu at the behest of chief Max Drummer (Harrison Ford), where Barney comes face-to-face with a ghost from the past: Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), co-founder of the Expendables. Faced with an adversary, who possesses state-of-the-art weaponry, Barney retires the old team and assembles a fearless younger crew comprising bareknuckle brawler Smilee (Kellan Lutz), nightclub bouncer Luna (Ronda Rousey), hacker Thorn (Glen Powell), weaponry specialist Mars (Victor Ortiz) and infuriatingly talkative former Spanish Armed Forces operative Galgo (Antonio Banderas). The Expendables 3 is an entertaining and ridiculously far-fetched tour of duty that sensibly welcomes fresh faces to the fold and provides Banderas, Ford, Gibson and Snipes with sizeable roles to turn back the clocks. “I haven’t had so much fun in years,” cackles Ford after he lays waste to hordes of enemy soldiers. The clash between old-school brute force and modern-day tech savvy provides the scriptwriters with a rich vein of humour. When Barney outlines his heavy-handed solution to toppling Stonebanks, Luna snorts derisively, “It’s a great plan... if it was 1985.” Australian director Patrick Hughes competently takes charge of this outlandish mission festooned with bone-crunching hand-to-hand combat, pithy one-liners and deafening explosions. A three-disc box set comprising The Expendables and both sequels is also available.