I dutifully present the teaser trailer for THE EXPENDABLES 3. If you want my opinions they can be found underneath.
OK, first things first:
Why are they whistling the Comet song? I thought that gag died out after SPACEBALLS. Of course, this tune is actually the Colonel Bogey March, popularized in THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, but the target audience for THE EXPENDABLES movies does not know that. No, they do not. The target audience for these movies grew up in the 1980s and 1990s like I did, and to us that tune means one thing:
“Comet… it makes your teeth turn green,
Comet… it tastes like gasoline,
Comet… it makes you vomit,
So take some Comet, and vomit today!”
You may have grown up with your own variations.
Why am I talking about nostalgia? Because THE EXPENDABLES runs on nostalgia. Nostalgia is the Comet-y gasoline which powers this rusty behemoth.
Nostalgia was enough to make the first EXPENDABLES movie a fun throwaway. The second one was hot garbage. If these guys want to drop another one of these things on us they’d better have developed some actual storytelling.
The new director is Patrick Hughes, who made a solid Australian thriller called RED HILL. He’s a promising but young action director with his work cut out for him, corraling some mighty personas. I like most of these guys, but with all of ’em you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it’s a diverting head-stomper worth the time spent in the theater, other times it’s a strenuous workout just to endure watching it.
What do I like?
I’m warming to the idea of Harrison Ford being in this thing. I’m hoping he’s got his sense of humor back. I miss the fun Harrison Ford. I don’t like that Stallone slapped that beret on him. I don’t trust it. I’ve spent a lot of time ruminating about the meaning of the beret. Stallone wears one, and Statham wears one, but the others don’t. I’m sure textually it means they were all in the same military unit, but what does it mean hypertextually? I keep wondering if it’s some veiled reference to the dystopian future foretold in DEMOLITION MAN.
Along those lines, I love Wesley being here. I’m ready for that comeback. I’m one of the few people who saw the ungodly horror-Western GALLOWWALKERS, which is not very watchable but Wesley is actually really fun in it.
It’s always good to see Dolph, and it’d be nice if Jet Li gets more to do this time. I mean, a lot more. Last movie all he did was hit a guy with a pan and jump out of a plane.
I love the fact that Chuck Norris, the single worst part of #2, is nowhere to be seen, although he’s been replaced with both Mel Gibson and Kelsey Grammer, which kinda makes it a wash.
Also: Kelsey Grammer?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Potentially the worst Expendable ever.
Which reminds me, another reason to be happy about Harrison Ford being in THE EXPENDABLES 3 is because without him, you’re basically giving money to the Republican National Convention by purchasing a ticket. All I’m saying is, he wants to wear an earring, let him wear the earring. He’s earned a pass on this one.
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