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August 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Neither of the two previous The Expendables movies attracted much love from critics; the latest attracts virtually none. Taking note of the fact that the film features 17 actors, most of them aging stars who have appeared in action movies during their prime, David Hiltbrand remarks in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the franchise "has devolved into the clown car of action movies: a casting gimmick to see how many AARP actors you can cram into one vehicle." Nicholas Rapold in the New York Times compares it with a "classic rock tribute concert" or a visit to the Madame Tussauds wax museum. And Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News comments, "Once you get past thinking ‘Oh, look who it is,’ there’s nothing to enjoy." And Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle suggests that the problem with the movie doesn’t really have much to do with the old guys. Here’s the opening paragraph of his review: "The Expendables 3 begins with a violent gun battle, something involving Sylvester Stallone flying a helicopter and Dolph Lundgren shooting at a passenger train with a machine gun. We don’t know why they are doing this, but it looks like they’re enjoying themselves. About 10 or 15 people are killed, and then Wesley Snipes appears, playing a knife expert, and he starts cutting people’s throats. All this happens before the opening credits. If the weirdness of this opening isn’t immediately obvious, let’s just spell it out: We have no rooting interest here. We’re simply presented with the spectacle of guys slaughtering other guys, and we’re expected to get on board with it."