That title isn’t a knock on the popular action flicks. In fact, it’s an admission of victory. See, when The Expendables franchise kicked off in 2010, it was the movie action junkies always thought we wanted. It was fan-fiction made real, by the guys we’d always wanted to see doing it. I remember taking my toys as a kid and pretending they were characters from my favorite action movies, brought together under the most unlikely of circumstances. The Expendables brought my 4 inch warfare to life. My problem with the series has always been that there was something missing. Whether it was a lynchpin actor (Wesley Snipes), some missing trope or aesthetic (CGI blood over squibs) or the not so subtle defense of White American values the made up the undercurrent of violence in all of our favorite action flicks from the 80’s and early 90’s.
So here we have the third in the series, a ballooned cast made up of pretty much all the guys we wanted to see, and a few fresh faces. They know they don’t have to sell us on this any of this. Same for any long running series, you’re in or out already (I’m in). Your mind is made up about whether or not you’re going to like it, and nothing they can say or do is going to change that. The biggest risk they can take is NOT doing another one (If you believe this is really the last ride, you haven’t been paying attention to Sly Stallone’s career). Come August 15, many American asses will be in seats around the country watching stunt men beat up and shoot other stunt men while guys who look more like our fathers and drunken uncles mug for the camera. Let the young guys ride the dirt bikes up the side of the building, Mel Gibson has to “pretend” to be crazy while Sly and the Gang break Snipes out of prison. See, subtle.