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Film / The Expendables 3

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Old soldiers never die

The 2014 sequel to The Expendables 2.

In the Cold Opening, the team retrieves Barney's old friend Doc (Wesley Snipes) from a prison transport. Their new CIA handler Max Drummer (Harrison Ford) sends them off to capture a high level arms dealer and acknowledged war criminal, which Barney finds is his former partner and co-founder of the Expendables, Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who he thought was dead. A disastrous encounter inspires Barney to disband his current team out of fear for their lives, and with the help of Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer) puts together a new team consisting of young upstarts played by Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, and Glen Powell. His old team is not happy with being put on the sidelines and newcomer Galgo (Antonio Banderas) joins them, eager to get rid of his own demons.


The third movie was leaked online three weeks prior to its official release, with several thousand people torrenting it. There is no word yet on whether or not Lionsgate will be taking any legal action, although some are suspecting the company of leaking the film themselves, citing the fact that it mysteriously leaked right before the San Diego Comic Con, and that people at the convention were saying it's the best in the series - and also that this was a way of showing people the film before the critics had a chance to look at it.


The Expendables 3 provides examples of:

  • And This Is for...: When Toll Road and Gunner commandeer a tank during the final battle, Toll Road yells out "This one's for Caesar, assholes!"
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Doctor Death might be. He is at first for sure.
    • Conrad Stonebanks.
  • Blood Knight: Galgo. He's desperate to get back in the mercenary game, because killing is all he knows — He's more than willing to take a "one way trip" because that's better than no way, which is where he's going now.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Downplayed with Caesar. He doesn't die, but sits out all but the last few minutes of the film. A lot of jokes were made about the movie how they brought in Wesley Snipes to fill the black guy quotient.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Doctor Death is stated to be a former medic when he's introduced. Later his skills stabilize Caesar and save his life when he's wounded.
    • When he's introduced, Smilee leaves his meeting with Ross and Bonaparte on a motorcycle, showing he does have training. During the final battle sequence, he not only uses a motorcycle taken from a goon to destroy a tank, but then uses it to save Ross' life by riding up the side of a crashed plane and ambushing the goons trying to kill him.
    • Galgo is introduced via some Le Parkour and other acrobatics. He does some of it in the final battle, but it doesn't work as well as before as the platform he was holding on to broke apart and he was lucky it swung him back inside the building a few stories down.
  • Dive Under the Explosion: Stonebanks snipes Caesar in the leg and in the back from his chopper, and then drops a smart bomb on the team; they collectively dive into the water to evade the blast.
  • Fight Clubbing: Both Bonaparte and Smilee are introduced during two separate illegal fighting matches. One as a spectator and the other as a participant.
  • Gatling Good: Caesar uses a minigun in the job that Doc was sprung for. He's pretty excited about it, but it expends its ammo after ten seconds of sustained fire.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Stonebanks promises to tear Barney apart with his bare hands. At the climax, he tosses his gun away after making Barney disarm. They still end up going for the guns to finish each other off.
  • Gunship Rescue: Agent Drummer provides much needed support helicopter in the final battle. He can only do so much, especially when the enemy forces have helicopters of their own and it leads to a dogfight.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Yang gets along with Trench much better than Barney's team, they jokingly hug and cry when Barney calls them out on how flirty they acted with each other.
  • I Have Your Wife: Well, not his wife, but Stonebanks captures Ross' younger team and sends him a video ultimatum to draw him out. The language used was a little confusing in the trailer — "I have your kids." conjures up a different image than what actually happens in the movie.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: At one point Lee calls Barney a "demented bastard". Barney tells him he could've left out "demented".
  • It's Personal: It was personal to start with when Barney found out their target was Stonebanks. It gets more personal once he critically injures Caesar. Drummer has it in for Stonebanks too.
    Drummer: We knew him only as Victor Menz. Arms dealer who made billions selling to every psycho warlord in Africa and the Middle East. Has his own mercenary army, is personally responsible for torturing and killing two of the best men I ever knew - friends. I don't give a shit what his name is. I don't like him. I want him as bad as you do.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: When the team enters the abandoned hotel before the final battle sequence.
  • Knee-capping: Galgo does this to a pair of goons in the final battle.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The poster for 3 blatantly spoils that Yin Yang returns, after being absent for the majority of 2.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Luna's fighting style relies on her speed, agility and flexibility to compensate for her lack of size and strength. At times she looks like a luchador.
  • Lighter and Softer: The PG-13 rating. Admittedly, the first film was the bloodiest (one guy was split in two from a grenade launcher) and had lots of hard language. The second film less so due to Chuck Norris' involvement, but still had some brutal carnage (a guy is shredded by a helicopter stabilizer). This film opts for Bloodless Carnage vs. constant sprays of blood.
  • Like a Son to Me: How Ross views the young recruits, lampshaded by Christmas.
    "You look like a proud, demented, father."
  • Long Runner Lineup: Averted. Doc, one of the original Expendables, asks about the team he served with eight years ago. Ross tells him they're "gone". Doc's subsequent speech about the dog tags really drives home that The Expendables is a Meaningful Name.
  • Motor Mouth: Galgo has a habit of constantly talking, even if nobody wants to listen.
  • Oh, Crap!: Barney and Doc when they realize their target is Stonebanks.
  • Old Hero, New Pals: Barney assembles a new and younger group of Expendables in order to spare his old comrades a bloody fate. However, when those comrades insist on rejoining Barney to rescue those youngsters, they all find that once they get their personal frictions out of the way that they are a very effective team with the veterans' experience and the rookies' new skills finds them capable of holding off an army.
  • Outrun the Fireball: After killing Stonebanks, Barney has to run to the chopper and escape the exploding building.
  • Only in It for the Money: Yin Yang reveals that he began working for Trench off-screen because the pay was better.
  • Put on a Bus: Church was either killed off-screen, or just reassigned somewhere else where The Expendables don't have to deal with him anymore. The dialogue is ambiguous.
  • Race Against the Clock: During the final battle the team is racing against time to escape before the charge on Gunnar's wrist computer (which is jamming the signal from the explosives planted in the abandoned hotel) runs out.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Bruce Willis has his character Mr. Church disappear from the third film due to Willis having a salary dispute with the film's producers. As a result, Mr. Church was stated to "be out of the picture," implying that Mr. Church met his demise.
    • Wesley Snipes jokingly states the reason for his imprisonment by a foreign military division in the film's opening was tax evasion when the actual film's reason was a failed assassination attempt. Snipes's explanation was poking fun at his actual prison sentence.
  • Reality Ensues: Two really peculiar examples give the overall tone of the film:
    • Hale Caesar has a huge gun at the beginning which he is very excited about. Gunner tells him he'll "...shoot it for about ten seconds and blow (your) wad." This ends up being exactly what happens, and exactly what would happen with an M134 in real life with the small ammo drum he had on it.
    • When he's briefly detained, Stonebanks tells about how he and Barney came to be enemies. He mentions taking three rounds in the chest, adding, "Thank God for body armor. But it still hurt like hell." As just about anyone who's been shot while wearing a Bulletproof Vest can tell you, it still hurts a lot. In fact the blunt force trauma will break ribs, bruise organs and could kill you anyway.
  • Red Shirt Army: The Azmenistan army sent to kill the Expendables.
  • Ruritania: Azmeristan, the country whose government is in Stonebanks’ pocket.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In his introductory scene, Doc takes out a military base by ramming a train into it
    • When someone asks Doc what he was in prison for, he jonkingly answers "Tax evasion". The actor who plays Doc, Weseley Snipes, was actually incarcerated for tax evasion from 2010-2013.
    • Trench uses the "get-to-the-choppa" line his actor Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said in Predator
  • Spy Catsuit: Luna wears one that shows cleavage aplenty when the rest of the team is wearing tac gear and body armor. By way of contrast her Action Girl predecessor in 2 (Maggie) dressed as sensibly as the rest of the team.
  • Steel Ear Drums: Averted. Barney and Drummer plug their ears when Mars is demonstrating the explosive rounds on his assault rifle. There are also several instances where we hear a ringing noise when an explosive goes off near one of the Expendables.
  • Survivor Guilt:
    • Why Barney keeps the dog tags hanging in the plane.
    • Barney disbands the original team to avoid this.
    • Galgo tells Ross that he felt responsible for the death of his teammates during a mission in Benghazi many years back, and is trying to make up for it by rescuing the captured group members.
  • Throwing the Fight: Smilee does this to make some extra money when he's prize-fighting in Mexico. Only Barney notices.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: When the Expendables are flying home after Stonebanks critically wounds Caesar, the camera pulls in on Barney's unblinking stare, while the jingle of the deceased Expendables dogtags echo in his ear.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Psychopathic piece of shit though he is, Stonebanks was genuinely hurt when Barney tried to kill him after he left the team, "Because we were brothers."
  • While You Were in Diapers: Doc disputes Christmas's skill with a knife, stating "Probably free-stylin' with a blade while you were still suckin' on your daddy's titty, tryin' to learn how to eat with a spoon."


Example of: