The series The Expendables is where old action stars go to end their careers. Unlike former A-list stars stuck in movies not even good enough to be a TV movie of the week, Sylvester Stallone and his group have found a new niche and one that has (A) kept them working, and (B) kept them working at the genre they love.
It's a genre we all love too.
The plot has Stallone and his team hired by the government to take out an arms dealer. He's done with wonderful good humor by a long absent Mel Gibson. Turns out Gibson's Stonebanks co-founded the Expendables with Stallone's Barney Ross. He went rogue and Ross killed him, or so he thought.
The first mission to take him out fails miserably and Ross decides his team is too old and now too slow for this kind of work. So he fires them and hires a much younger and more technologically savvy group. They're done by Glen Powell, boxer Victor Ortiz, MMA star Ronda Rousey and Twilight semi-star Kellan Lutz.
Things happen and the old guard and new end up working together.
A quick note. It's the first time we've seen Wesley Snipes since he went to prison for income tax evasion and he has some fun with that. Second, a very funny Antonio Banderas steals every scene he's in and for the most part steals the movie.
This is not rocket science. It's slam bang action from start to finish. While Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford and a who's who cast with too many names to list didn't set a world action movie body count record, it is still pretty high; so high that my counting effort ended about two-minutes into the movie.
But that's what you expect. And since this is guilty pleasure, it's what you love about these flicks. Like the first two in the now series, this one has it all action, humor, great stunts and some terrific CGI.
Other than Guardians of the Galaxy it's the most fun I've had in a theater this year.
Director: Patrick Hughes
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Coulture, Terry Crewes, Kelsey Grammer, Jet Li, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz
Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It's playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.