The Expendables 2 is the only film I’ve seen twice during a cinema run.
That film, and its 2010 predecessor, was an explosive return to form for the action stars of the eighties and nineties who make up the cast.
I didn’t have the same feeling of warm nostalgia for The Expendables 3; another action extravaganza, but the least enjoyable of the series.
This time round, Sylvester Stallone and company are joined by Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas, to stop Mel Gibson - the antagonist with past ties to the Expendables team.
Some of what made the two prior films so endearing is retained; with references to the actors’ lives and past roles, its quite meta with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
The Expendables 3 drastically changes a successful formula by replacing its cast in favour of a younger group of non actors, the majority of whom are lacking in the charisma of their elder counterparts.
This, and the switch from a 15 rating to 12A, comes off as an attempt to attract younger viewers.
Both acts go against the whole ‘rated R throwback’ creed, which is the whole point of these films and why they’re so popular.