The animal spirit of The Expendables 3 is a giant fleshy machine gun made out of a bronzed, tumescent, veiny biceps and meaty forearm, and it's flying around, screaming, belching explosion-flames, smoking a cigar, and shooting out greasy bullets all over everything while it cracks jokes about Bruce Willis.

I saw the first two The Expendables movies at the drive-in, which is a great way to watch movies that are mostly violent. The dialogue in this Major Motion Picture is kinda thin, but there are many little heavily telegraphed humor opportunities, so you might need to bear down a little with your ears if you are interested in some tough-guy humor and self-referencing inside jokes, since the sound at the drive-ins usually isn't very good, even at the ones with the thing that sends out a signal you can get on your car radio, because while all the different radios of all the different cars are putting out the same sound, it's hitting you from many different directions, and it can be a bit confusing, in a very small way like the Fog of War when all kindsa bullets and shrapnels are flying around in all different directions, so personally I would suggest if you are going to see The Expendables 3—I mean, you already pretty much know if you are going to go and see The Expendables 3—you should try and see it at a drive in, because the other bonus part of the drive-ins is that you can talk all you want during the movie, because you are sitting in a big field or parking lot surrounded by cars, and they are being started and driven around and doors are opening and little door chimes are going off and there are people walking back and forth to the snack bar and there are children off the leash, running around hollering, just flat flaming-out until they are comatose and filed into the back of the car, giving the adults some quiet time to crack those smuggled-in beers and do some low-key vaping.

The Expendables 3 stars Sylvester Stallone and a some famous actors and movie stars and Dolph Lundgren, who seems kinda broken down, he just has a heaviness about him that's kinda sad. I guess it adds to his character.

The picture also stars some athletes, one of which is a woman, Ronda Rousey, a professional mixed martial artist, and enough of an actor to have a catchphrase in the movie, so that's cool, Girl Power.

The film also stars Mel Gibson, who should be washed up, but he isn't, and he gets a nice moment for his character to be shouty and intense explain why he is a Bad Person. I mean, all these characters are supposed to be Bad People, because they are mercenaries (their company is called "The Expendables," and they have an official tattoo and a logo, which is a skull, with a bird on it) and they are not supposed to care whose side they are being mercenary for, but they're all Good Guys, except for Mel Gibson, which is not really a stretch, right?

Harrison Ford is in the film, and he is old, but he gets to wear a jumpsuit and fly an aircraft. Apparently he plays a new character in the arc of the three The Expendables films, brought in to replace Bruce Willis, who in real life talked some smack about money or something, so there are a few zingers about him or at least his character being a jive turkey or whatever. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also in this movie, looking super-happy and relieved to not be Governor of California any more, and he and Stallone smoke giant cigars and have that smirking thing, busting balls like George Clooney and his buddies in those Oceans Eleven, etc. movies.

Antonio Banderas shows up, and he gets to be crazy manic, and you truly Believe his character is annoying enough to irritate calloused mercenary killers. Jason Statham is back for more, and I give him a lot of credit for knowing how to Actor, seriously, pretty much all this guy does in movies is play a guy who punches and shoots everybody. Wesley Snipes has some fun scenes early in the show, and he really lights up the screen, not enough of him in this flick, and he gets the biggest laugh in the movie, at his own expense; always bet on Snipes.

There are so many guns, and rifles, and machine guns, and giant machine guns, and wacky sideways and around-corners-shooting rifles, and rocket launchers, and knives, and big knives, and really big knives, and just fucking the most insane really big giant novelty-sized knives in this film, and in the credits—don't bother to sit through 'em beyond the End Titles, if you're hoping for an extra-fun thing at the end, there isn't one—seven people are listed as armourers, so if you dig that kinda stuff, you could go to this movie multiple times and still find new hardware to geek on, and the closeups of the actors are just brutal, Mel Gibson's ever-widening mug, the hairs on Schwarzenegger's face, the crenelations and folds and crags and giant pores on Stallone's, not to mention dude's arms, jeez, they are tumescent and veiny, they painful, look like they are going to burst open, wetly.

There are really too many characters and actors in this movie, because the story has a subtext about getting old and becoming washed-up and useless, so they brought in some younger characters and the picture drags while Kelsey Grammer takes Stallone around looking for new Expendables to expend, but if you are at the drive-ins, goofing on the movie, going to the snack bar or whatever, this part isn't as boring.

Another part that's boring is, as the violence escalates in the second half of the movie, it's not really well connected, just people shooting guns at other people shooting guns, and since there aren't any other well defined Bad Guy characters, it's just a bunch of nobodies on the Other Side getting shot, like a real war. The violence gets better right toward the end when it's mostly non-gun personal combat. Maybe there was a different director or choreographer for that part. One thing that's annoying, assuming you've been able to suspend your disbelief this long, because if not, at this point you're out of your mind with all the stuff that goes on that could never, ever happen in real fighting, but anyway, there's a Big Fight between two characters and they don't use guns, because it's gonna be like that, all personal and shit, but then as soon as they can, they both go diving for their guns and it's not a satisfactory resolution, it shoulda been like with King Arthur and Mordred in Excaliber, spoiler alert, but that would be a bummer ending, not a Hollywood Ending, and this The Expendables thing looks like it's gonna be a Hollywood job creator for years.

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