Movie Review: The Expendables 3

The Expendables 3

The reviews were not favorable.  Almost nobody in the U.S. went to the theaters to watch this film.  The franchise looked to be in pretty bad waters.

That is, until the film released all over the world.

Usually, US Box office sales serves as a fairly accurate reflection how a film will do overseas, as the international sales often equates the US sales.  For some reason, The Expendables 3 made much, much more money overseas than it did in the U.S.  I guess folks around the world are still into watching these 80s-90s actions stars running around shooting guns.

I went in with my bar set as low as possible, looking for a good time.  In the end, I can’t say that I hated the film.  I didn’t love it, either; it was your average 90’s action flick featuring muscular stars and exploding buildings.

The film brings Mel Gibson back to the big screen in a substantial role.  No matter what he’s done off screen, he still commands the screen with a strong presence.  The rest of the gang, are all back to do their things of killing bad guys.  The addition of Wesley Snipes was quite a good fit; the opening sequence with the train was a ton of fun.  But the addition of the bunch of younger guys was less welcoming, as that somewhat defeats the purpose of the Expendables.  I know the film was trying to appeal to a younger audience, but this move just didn’t quite fit into the story narrative.

It was also definitely a mistake to tone the violence down and make the film PG13 rather than R.  The action are not as hard hitting and some hard core action fans might not be satisfied.  Finally, the delivery of the final act and the climax wasn’t as good as it could have been.

I didn’t quite dislike the film, but I didn’t like it very much, either.


Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians Poster

I watched this film during its first week of release, and have since watched it again.  For lack of a better term, the film is just flat out awesome. It is a very well executed piece of entertainment with solid storytelling, creating characters that we care about, and seamlessly integrating them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is action-packed, funny, and, most importantly, doesn’t take itself too seriously.  When the film opened with Chris Pratt’s character dancing to “Come and Get Your Love” in an otherwise eerie setting, it establishes itself to appeal towards a wide array of audiences: the young and the old, the hipster and the nerd were on board. The casting was also perfect as the chemistry between Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Batista, Bradley Cooper (Rocket), and Groot (Vin Diesel) lit up the screen.  The banter between them never felt forced. I had my doubts about how successful the film would be considering the Guardians of the Galaxy is much less well known than Marvel’s other comic book heroes such as Iron Man or Captain America.  But when this film became the biggest office success this year, surpassing “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Marvel has proven that it can bring its secondary franchises to the forefront. Barring a tiny bit of dialogue inadequacies, this was the not only the best Marvel film, but one of the best action films in recent years.  This film was a blast; I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to have a good time at the movies.