- Base-Breaking Character: Galgo the crazy Spanish legionary. People see him as either a walking, breathing bringer of many Funny Moments or the lowest point of an already defficient film.
- Broken Base: The fact that it was rated PG-13 in contrast to the R ratings of the first two movies. Let's not forget that it was also leaked online before it could be released in theaters, with many fans fearing that the movie might not do well at the box office because of this leak.
- Contested Sequel: It has its moments but, due to its PG-13 rating, new characters not fitting the casting aesthetic (young actors without the same credentials as the veterans) taking up screen time, and that the movie made #4 at the box office on its opening weekend, it's seen as a misstep in the series. Stallone acknowledged this, and says the fourth movie should Win Back the Crowd.
- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- Antonio Banderas as Galgo practically made the film worthwhile. A rare occasion when a Motor Mouth is the fan favorite, the fact he was genuinely funny ("I needed a job! All I wanted to do is kill people! And I do that very well! Goddammit!") and managed some pathos with his backstory helps.
- Amazingly, nearly every review of the film, including Jeremy Jahns, theFlickPick and even Chris Stuckmann, praised Mel Gibson as the villain, with Jahns and FlickPick going as far as to call him the best actor in the film. The fact that it's Playing Against Type probably helps too.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Gunnar gets to hijack a tank with Toll Road in this movie. Years later, becomes Wargaming's Ambassador for World of Tanks upon introduction of the game's Swedish Tank Tech tree.
- Narm: The character posters (as well as the theatrical poster), which shows the actors laughing, smiling, and laid back like the movie's some sort of comedy instead of the actors posing and looking tough.
- No Problem with Licensed Games: The tie in game Expendabros shows the movie's spirit quite well; the only way it can get better is if it had oneliners.
- Sequelitis: Being rated PG-13 and adding unnecessary new characters played by lesser-known actors who are taking the screentime from the bigger name actors, whose appearance were the whole point of the franchise, has drawn much criticism. It doesn't help that many of these new characters are played by MMA fighters and martial artists with little to no acting experience, which unfortunately comes across in their performances.
- So Okay, It's Average: Overall opinion on the movie, when compared to the first two.
- Special Effect Failure: The CG is all over the damn place. In one of the most egregious examples, there's a notable "halo" around Barney and Bonaparte as they complete the simple task of driving a car.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Early reviews have bemoaned that 3 is both PG-13 and devotes an unnecessary amount of screentime to the younger Expendables. After the film bombed at the box office, Sylvester Stallone admitted that it was a "mistake" to lower the film to PG-13 and he promised that fourth film in the franchise will return to an R-rating.
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: While most of the new additions to the cast are clearly aware what the franchise was going for (a traditional passing-the-torch tale), Mel Gibson has an odd look of defeat about him - caused by media backlash over the intervening years - and plays everything either ultra-serious or in full-on Riggs mode, while Antonio Banderas oscillates from Ham and Cheese to the most sincere and serious moment the film has when he tells Barney (Sylvester Stallone) about the reasons why he couldn't work with a team for a long time.
- Tough Act to Follow: 2 was viewed as an Even Better Sequel by fans. When this came out, being rated PG-13 and featuring lesser-known actors as well as MMA fighters with little to no acting experience has drawn criticism. Here's hoping the fourth movie would Win Back the Crowd.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: The song Galgo sings and his hilarious "marching" are not random antics, but the chants and steps of the Spanish Legion parade during Holy Week in the city of Seville. While Antonio Banderas and most Spaniard viewers are expected to recognize it fast, audiences who aren't very acquainted with Spanish culture will probably just get confused.
YMMV / The Expendables 3