The Expendables 3 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

They’re going to keep making these films long as Sylvester Stallone can recruit aging Hollywood action stars to the Expendables franchise and so rather than complaining about how trite this franchise is, let’s embrace it for what it really is; an excuse to get formerly famous people together for a mindless action film.  No, it’s not great and no, there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, but there’s something pleasant about a throwback action movie, especially in a world of Marvel, DC and Star Wars.

The only chance for any of these characters to stand out is in a villain role.  Dolph Lundgren had his moment in the first film, then Van Damme stole the show in the second and the third film belongs to Mel Gibson.  Mel is clearly too talented of an actor to appear in an Expendables film, but his career still hasn’t recovered from his drunken rants, so he’s relegated to bad action movies until Hollywood says he’s done his time.  That’s bad news for Mel, but good news for anyone that chooses to sit through THE EXPENDABLES 3.  He makes for a great bad guy and even though it wasn’t really explored, the hint of a history with Barney (Stallone) played out well and gave the audience a reason to care.

The Expendables 3

But like with most sequels, THE EXPENDABLES 3 tries a little too hard at times to insert more than there really is.  In this film, Barney deems his mission too dangerous for his original crew and so he goes out and recruits a new, younger team of expendables to help him.  The issue here is that we don’t really have true action stars anymore, so Stallone had to go to the bottom of the barrel to find actors to fill these roles.  Ronda Rousey and Kellan Lutz are recognizable, but no one is going to go crazy seeing their names on the poster.  The recruitment of a younger team also contradicts the purpose of these films, which is to get the older action stars together for some mindless fun.  So the inclusion of the younger team felt a little unnecessary and forced.

No one shows up to these films expecting a decent plot, so criticizing the plot holes and wasted scenes seems like a waste of time.  This is about seeing your favorite stars together and watching some fun action scenes.  If that’s all you want, then THE EXPENDABLES 3 kind of comes through for you.  The opening rescue scene was fun and it was a nice way to introduce Wesley Snipes to the franchise and get him back in action.  The big showdown between Stallone and Gibson at the end was also decent, but the problem was everything in-between the two big action scenes; there just wasn’t much there.

The Expendables 3

Bring on THE EXPENDABLES 4.  As pure movies, these aren’t very good, but there’s a small part of me that really likes seeing all of these guys in the same movie.  This is what I dreamed of 25 years ago and even though the moment has clearly passed for everyone involved, it’s still better than nothing.


Video: Lionsgate did a good job with their initial wave of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray releases.  On one hand it’s easy to question why THE EXPENDABLES 3 made the cut of first wave titles, but this was originally shot in UHD transfer was presumably pulled from original 4K source material.  That means this is one of the best looking 4K titles available.  This is evident in the underground fight scene where Barney recruits Smilee (Lutz).  This scene wasn’t that clear on the Blu-ray, but with the 4K transfer, details are clearly noticeable that weren’t there before.  Sure, it’s not the best film available, but it might be the title you reach for to show off your new 4K TV.

Audio: The audio was fine.

There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does come with the Blu-ray and you can read our Blu-ray review by clicking the link: THE EXPENDABLES 3 Blu-ray review.

Click 4K Ultra HD to read more of our 4K reviews.


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