Tag Archives: Mel Gibson

A Hollywood Hurricane

Today we learned that this trailer for Ridley Scott’s upcoming kidnapping drama All the Money in the World, which opens next month, is already a thing of the past. In the trailer we see Kevin Spacey as the billionaire J. Paul Getty, but after the revelations of the past few weeks about Spacey the unprecedented decision has been made to reshoot his scenes, now with Christopher Plummer in the part (who ironically was the first choice to play Getty, until the studio wanted a bigger name). This is doable; Spacey’s scenes took eight days to shoot, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and most of them feature only the actor, but co-stars Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams will be coming in for the reshoots and Scott will have to figure out how to do some scenes that rely on visual effects.

It won’t be cheap, but it has to be done. The climate in Hollywood has drastically changed since movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was finally exposed one month ago as a sexual predator. More than 80 women have come forward to accuse him of rape and abuse, criminal investigations have begun and the case has had a massive global effect. Under the hashtag #metoo, women have testified about similar experiences, they have exposed sexual predators, and a general conversation has begun about how men take advantage of their positions of power. Within the media and Hollywood, a great number of famous men have been accused of inappropriate behavior, rape and abuse. Conservatives have unconvincingly tried to make this only about Hollywood (and the Clintons of course), which is rich considering the problems that Fox News has had the past year. In the real world this scandal is refreshing. Finally, the time has come to talk openly about this, and hopefully to see some change in the filmmaking community. Will other businesses follow? Remains to be seen.

The avalanche of accusations and consequences makes it hard to keep up, and this month has certainly been an emotional experience. It does matter who is accused. Steven Seagal has always had a bad reputation, which hasn’t improved after he became a buddy of Putin’s. He’s been accused of sexual harassment and abuse in the past, and several actors have now come forward with fresh accusations, including Julianne Margulies (clip above). Seagal fell from grace years ago, which is why this isn’t bigger news. The same conclusion can be reached about Charlie Sheen, who has now been accused of raping Corey Haim when he was 13. We have no idea if this is true.

It was a greater shock to hear a woman accuse Dustin Hoffman of behaving inappropriately during the shoot of the TV movie Death of a Salesman (1985). He’s an icon, and beloved all over the world; this is not what we expect or want to hear about him, and yet it seems to have happened. And then there’s Kevin Spacey, the biggest prize after Weinstein, a celebrated stage, film and TV actor who has apparently been known throughout Hollywood for his indecent behavior toward younger men and boys. The news about how Spacey has groped and forced himself on a great number of people (including a 14-year-old) over the decades was shocking to me, but above all sad. When Harry Dreyfuss, son of Richard Dreyfuss, revealed on Twitter how Spacey had touched him inappropriately him when he was 18 (even when Richard was in the same room!), it made my blood boil. And apparently Hollywood had had enough. Netflix severed all ties with the star, including firing him from House of Cards.  

Will Kevin Spacey’s career survive? Not the way it looks now. We will likely not see him star in a movie or TV show for years until the passage of time makes it tolerable for audiences to look at him again. The same thing happened to Mel Gibson’s career after his anti-Semitic rant a decade ago, and that wasn’t as serious an event as this; it took him many years to get his career back, and it’s still fragile (with the exception of his Hacksaw Ridge success last year); earlier reports of domestic abuse keep popping up. 

Hollywood has been shaken to the core, to an even greater extent than the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of 2016 that changed Academy rules. So, what comes next? There will be more revelations and the discussion of how women and young men and children are treated in Hollywood will continue. There is a risk of fatigue and false accusations, but each case must be dealt with individually.

Some people are grappling with their anger and disgust at stars like Spacey. As a fan of movies and a critic, there is only one answer for me. It’s not necessarily shared by other fans or colleagues, but I can’t imagine any other position. I will still take the work of men like Spacey for what it is – his great performances are still great. I can’t do it any other way because I don’t want to and because I have no idea where to draw the line. I am just not going to purge my website of reviews of movies made by Spacey, or Woody Allen, or Mel Gibson, or Roman Polanski, or Alfred Hitchcock, or Leni Riefenstahl, or… you get where I’m going. Not that anyone’s demanding that. But when Bustle asked a number of critics how they feel about watching Harvey Weinstein-produced films now, the discussion made me cringe. Put Harvey in prison by all means, but I have no qualms about watching any of the masterful films he helped produce over the years, thank you very much. 

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What Women Want

HE HAS THE POWER TO HEAR EVERYTHING WOMEN ARE THINKING. FINALLY… A MAN IS LISTENING.

After accidentally electrocuting himself, cocky and womanizing Chicago ad executive Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) realizes that he can hear what women are thinking… and the experience is a shock to him. Not one of Nancy Meyers’s finest romantic comedies, it was nevertheless a box-office success made in those days when Gibson was a sex symbol. Unsurprisingly, he’s the right person to play this initially unlikable character who has us rooting for him to get his act together after finding out how his behavior affects women. Still, it’s long and not funny or clever enough.

2000-U.S. 126 min. Color. Directed by Nancy Meyers. Cast: Mel Gibson (Nick Marshall), Helen Hunt (Darcy Maguire), Marisa Tomei (Lola), Mark Feuerstein, Lauren Holly, Ashley Johnson… Alan Alda, Judy Greer, Sarah Paulson, Loretta Devine, Logan Lerman. Cameo: Bette Midler.

Trivia: Remade in India in 2004 and China in 2011.

 

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Hacksaw Ridge

WHEN THE ORDER CAME TO RETREAT, ONE MAN STAYED. 

In 1945, Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) is deployed to the Pacific theater; trained as a combat medic, he is also a conscientious objector who refuses to touch weapons. Mel Gibson’s comeback as a director for the first time in ten years is an impressively staged portrait of the only conscientious objector during World War II to receive the Medal of Honor for his bravery. A very strong performance by Garfield, a compelling story and battle scenes that are jaw-droppingly brutal. A film that draws you in, and Gibson honors faith and integrity as he has done many times before as a filmmaker… but the seeming delight that he takes in the violence is contradictory.

2016-U.S.-Australia. 139 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Terry Benedict, Paul Currie, Bruce Davey, William D. Johnson, Bill Mechanic, Brian Oliver, David Permut. Directed by Mel Gibson. Screenplay: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight. Music: Rupert Gregson-Williams. Editing: John Gilbert. Cast: Andrew Garfield (Desmond Doss), Vince Vaughn (Howell), Sam Worthington (Jack Glover), Luke Bracey, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Corr… Teresa Palmer, Rachel Griffiths.

Trivia: In the 1950s, producer Hal B. Wallis allegedly tried to turn the story into a movie.

Oscars: Best Film Editing, Sound Mixing. BAFTA: Best Editing.

Last word: “It was a completely Australian film, all the players were Aussies except Andrew and Vince Vaughn. So the whole production is an Aussie film, but a very American story, which is kind of unusual. My worry was, is it going to look like we’re in Lynchburg, and Okinawa? I think we got away with it.” (Gibson, Deadline)

 

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The Patriot

SOME THINGS ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

thepatriotIn 1780, South Carolina widower Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is drawn into the Revolutionary War when the British murder one of his sons and set his home on fire. When the director behind Independence Day (1996) and the star who brought us Braveheart (1995) join forces, the result is a good-looking, often exciting and stirring epic… but as expected it has historical flaws and portrays the British as bloodthirsty savages (symbolized by Jason Isaacs’s deliciously wicked turn as an officer). Both silly and irresistible in many ways, with a great score by John Williams and another engaging effort by Gibson as the tortured hero.

2000-U.S. 164 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Roland Emmerich. Screenplay: Robert Rodat. Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel. Music: John Williams. Cast: Mel Gibson (Benjamin Martin), Heath Ledger (Gabriel Martin), Joely Richardson (Charlotte Selton), Chris Cooper, Jason Isaacs, Tom Wilkinson… Tchéky Kario, Adam Baldwin, Logan Lerman.

Trivia: Alternative version runs 175 min. Lerman’s first film. Harrison Ford, Ryan Philippe and Kevin Spacey were allegedly considered for roles.

5 kopia

 

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Conspiracy Theory

WHAT YOU KNOW COULD KILL YOU. 

conspiracytheoryHalf-crazed New York City cab driver Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) is obsessed with conspiracy theories, but this time he seems to be on to something, as Justice Department lawyer Alice Sutton (Julia Roberts) realizes. Gibson reunited with his Lethal Weapon director to play a role that has Martin Rigg’s energy, but not his authority. Together with Alice, a woman Jerry’s desired from a distance for quite some time, he has to figure out how to survive even though he has no experience of dealing with dangers of this type. The movie as a whole feels drawn-out, but the stars are easy to root for, and there’s enough action to keep it lively.

1997-U.S. 135 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Richard Donner. Screenplay: Brian Helgeland. Cast: Mel Gibson (Jerry Fletcher), Julia Roberts (Alice Sutton), Patrick Stewart (Dr. Jonas), Cylk Cozart, Stephen Kahan, Terry Alexander.

Trivia: Winona Ryder was allegedly considered for Roberts’s part.

5 kopia

 

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Lethal Weapon 4

THE GANG’S ALL HERE.

lethalweapon4After coming across Chinese slave laborers, Riggs and Murtaugh (Mel Gibson, Danny Glover) go up against a ruthless immigrant smuggling ring. Our heroes are growing older, but not much changes anyway. Number four is chock-full of action, almost to the point of exhaustion, but all the sub-plots is what really slows it down and, near the end, turn the movie a little too cute. The smuggling ring becomes a minor distraction in all of this; Jet Li contributes with explosive fights, but his character is hardly memorable. Gibson and Glover are as lovable as ever.

1998-U.S. 127 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Richard Donner. Cast: Mel Gibson (Martin Riggs), Danny Glover (Roger Murtaugh), Joe Pesci (Leo Getz), Rene Russo (Lorna Cole), Chris Rock, Jet Li.

Trivia: Jackie Chan was allegedly considered for Jet Li’s part.

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Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

A LONE WARRIOR SEARCHING FOR HIS DESTINY… A TRIBE OF LOST CHILDREN WAITING FOR A HERO… IN A WORLD BATTLING TO SURVIVE, THEY FACE A WOMAN DETERMINED TO RULE.

madmax315 years after the last movie, Max (Mel Gibson) reaches a rowdy place called Bartertown, which is run by the ruthless Auntie Entity (Tina Turner); she has to rely on a dwarf (Angelo Rossitto) controlling the one thing Bartertown depends on – a methane refinery. The third part in this franchise may have a higher budget helping to create an elaborate dystopian community and a wonderful chase involving a train in the last half-hour that is easily the highlight. But except for Gibson and Turner, the movie lacks compelling characters and storylines.

1985-Australia. 106 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by George Miller, George Ogilvie. Song: “We Don’t Need Another Hero” (performed by Tina Turner). Music: Maurice Jarre. Cast: Mel Gibson (Max Rockatansky), Tina Turner (Auntie Entity), Angelo Rossitto (The Master), Helen Buday, Rod Zuanic, Frank Thring.

Trivia: The story was originally not meant to be part of this franchise. Followed by Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

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Mad Max 2: Star Wars Aussie-Style

WHEN ALL THAT’S LEFT IS ONE LAST CHANCE, PRAY THAT HE’S STILL OUT THERE… SOMEWHERE!

51D2ET5JSKLMad Max (1979) has been described as a key film in the Australian New Wave. Heavily debated because of the violence, it was recognized internationally as an influential dystopian vigilante piece. The director, George Miller, never had any intention to make a sequel, but as his star rose he started thinking that revisiting the genre with the help of a greater budget might be interesting. The first cut was so bloody that Australian censors took out whole scenes from it. Still, they left intact what mattered for the subsequent success of the film – its atmosphere and car chases.

After the events in the first film, the world has gone to hell a little bit more. There are almost no reserves of gasoline left, and no law and order. Former cop Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is now a drifter, having lost everything but his supercharged V-8 Pursuit Special, a dog and a sawn-off shotgun. After being ambushed by a a man called the Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence), Max overpowers him and the man takes him to an oil refinery that is under siege by a gang of criminals (led by Humungus (Kjell Nilsson)) in desperate need of fuel. Max finds a way to get inside the refinery and tries to make a deal that will give him a tank of fuel, but the leader of the refinery reneges. When Humungus returns, Max offers the people at the compound a different deal…

Influenced by Kurosawa
The first film was never a big hit in the U.S., which is why the second part got a different title, The Road Warrior. Following the success of the sequel, Mad Max was rereleased in America and advertised as a “prequel” to The Road Warrior. The story is a bit less complicated here, but still showing a society that has degenerated to an alarming degree because of an energy crisis; certainly a relevant warning for the future at a time when renewables were seen as a quaint idea. Miller was reportedly influenced by Akira Kurosawa, but I spot some Star Wars (1977) here as well, complete with “wipes” in the editing, a desert landscape that might as well be Tatooine, and Max himself turning into a wisecracking hero in the mould of Han Solo (with his car standing in for the Millennium Falcon), especially now that he no longer has to carry the immediate burden of just having lost his family. Others will view this film as a Western, with Gibson as a gunslinger defending a group of benign strangers against cruel villains where the final showdown arrives not in the shape of a shootout but a wild chase involving all kinds of dirty, fast makeshift vehicles. That part has even wilder stunts than the original, which is perhaps one reason why American audiences finally took notice. Another reason is probably that the sequel is less obviously low-budget Australian in tone, looking like it exists in its own desolate universe. As for the music, in my review of Mad Max I criticized Brian May’s work as sounding too much like a 1940s melodrama; this time he seems to have been inspired by John Williams, with pleasing results.

It’s been fun reviewing this franchise ahead of the premiere of the heavily anticipated fourth film, Mad Max: Fury Road. This second one still stands as the best. But the fact that I’ve been highlighting all its nods to superior Westerns and sci-fi movies is my way of telling you that Mad Max 2 appearing on best-ever lists is something I find a bit too generous.

Mad Max 2 1981-Australia. 94 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Byron Kennedy. Directed by George Miller. Screenplay: George Miller, Terry Hayes, Brian Hannant. Cinematography: Dean Semler. Music: Brian May. Cast: Mel Gibson (Max Rockatansky), Bruce Spence (Gyro Captain), Vernon Wells (Wez), Mike Preston, Virginia Hey, Emil Minty.

Trivia: Followed by Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).

Last word: “On ‘Mad Max 2’ (1981), I made a point of getting really the best possible crew we could find. We were going to be out in the desert at Broken Hill. It was going to be tough. We were going to try to push things a little bit and, you know, I … but the attitude that I had and I think that the crew had was vastly different. On the first one most of the crew had come out of Crawford’s Television. They couldn’t work out why – why we were trying to shoot the film in an atypical way. They thought we were just going to make a Crawford’s cop show. But we … but by the time we got to ‘Mad Max 2’ (1981), I think this was Dean Semler’s second feature and his attitude was give anything a go – it’s crazy but give it a go, we’ll back you all the way.” (Miller, Australian Screen)

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Mad Max

HE RULES THE ROADS.

madmaxIn a future Australia where an energy crisis has begun to erode society, a cop (Mel Gibson) clashes with a brutal motorcycle gang. One of the most successful films of the late-70s Australian New Wave is dystopian action that divided the critics because of its violence and B-movie tropes, but has become a classic. George Miller uses the red and desolate landscape for breakneck chases involving all kinds of souped-up vehicles; along with Gibson’s breakthrough performance it is the best part of the film. The script has a familiar revenge story and a bizarrely hissing and cackling gang of thugs as villains. Unfortunately, the annoying music score sounds like it belongs in a 1940s melodrama.

1979-Australia. 93 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Byron Kennedy. Directed by George Miller. Screenplay: George Miller, James McCausland. Cinematography: David Eggby. Music: Brian May. Cast: Mel Gibson (Max Rockatansky), Joanne Samuel (Jessie Rockatansky), Hugh Keays-Byrne (The Toecutter), Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, Roger Ward.

Trivia: Followed by three sequels, starting with Mad Max 2 (1981).

Last word: “With the first ‘Mad Max’ (1979) I basically wanted to make a silent movie. With sound. The kind of movie that Hitchcock would say, ‘They didn’t have to read the subtitles in Japan’. A film that basically played like a silent movie and … because for me, once I got interested in cinema as moving pictures, I went back to the silent era. And I was particularly struck by the films of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd and those – and those kind of very kinetic action montage movies that they made. And they were the … I think they were the true masters in that era. And basically I saw the action movie, particularly the car action movie, as an extension of that. ” (Miller, Australian Screen)

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Lethal Weapon 3

THE MAGIC IS BACK AGAIN!

lethalweapon3As Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is about to retire from the LAPD, he and Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) become involved in the hunt for a former cop turned ruthless arms dealer. The second sequel is loose around the edges, making it an unwieldy and silly experience. That Richard Donner still holds it together quite well is remarkable, but he knows what the fans crave. The action is entertaining, the two leads are having fun and the franchise gets a shot in the arm from Rene Russo as a tough internal affairs detective (who compares battle scars with Riggs in a memorable scene). The bad guy is pretty anonymous, but still suitably evil.

1992-U.S. 115 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Richard Donner. Song: “It’s Probably Me” (performed by Sting, Eric Clapton). Cast: Mel Gibson (Martin Riggs), Danny Glover (Roger Murtaugh), Joe Pesci (Leo Getz), Rene Russo, Stuart Wilson, Steve Kahan.

Trivia: Followed by Lethal Weapon 4 (1998).

5 kopia

 

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The Passion of the Christ

passionofthechristOne can’t help but admire how Mel Gibson made this ridiculed project into the most talked about movie of the year, and a box office hit to boot. The religious right loved it, but sensible critics pointed out deficiencies. The Savior’s last 12 hours in life is actually a two-hour long torture flick where we are forced to endure bloody violence of the most realistic kind. Disgustingly over the top, but Jim Caviezel is a convincing Christ, the filmmakers’ attitude is largely earnest (everyone speaks Aramaic and Latin) and the technical details impressive. Accusations of anti-Semitism ring hollow since Jews and Romans share equal blame for the crucifixion.

2004-U.S. 126 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson, Stephen McEveety. Directed by Mel Gibson. Screenplay: Mel Gibson, Benedict Fitzgerald. Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel. Music: John Debney. Cast: Jim Caviezel (Jesus), Monica Bellucci (Mary Magdalene), Claudia Gerini (Claudia Procles), Maia Morgenstern, Sergio Rubini, Mattia Sbragia.

Trivia: Gibson allegedly first intended to show the film with no subtitles.

5 kopia

 

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Braveheart: Not a History Lesson

THE COURAGE TO FACE FEAR.

 

braveheartAs the story goes, American writer Randall Wallace made a trip to Scotland and came upon a statue at the entrance of Edinburgh Castle. Since the statue bore the name of Wallace, the writer was intrigued. This was not a relative, but William Wallace, the great Scottish war hero. Having never heard of him, the writer read up on William Wallace and crafted a screenplay that made his career; an Oscar nomination and later successful directing stints followed. However, it would seem that Randall Wallace is not terribly interested in history.

Near the end of the 13th century, Scotland finds itself without an heir to the throne. The king of England, Edward “Longshanks” (Patrick McGoohan), betrays a prominent group of Scottish noblemen and hangs them all in a barn, including the father and brother of young William Wallace. The boy is taken abroad by his uncle (Brian Cox) who gives him an education and teaches him how to go to war for what he believes in. As a grown man, Wallace returns to Scotland, which is now suffering under English oppression. He secretly marries the girl (Catherine McCormack) he’s been in love with since he was a child… but the Englishmen soon gives him a reason to rebel. Wallace saves his wife from being raped by English soldiers, but she’s eventually captured and publicly executed. Enraged, Wallace leads his clan to slaughter the whole garrison…

Numerous errors
Braveheart
has sometimes been called one of the most inaccurate historical epics ever made. The errors are numerous, from the Scots wearing kilts (hundreds of years before it became a tradition) to the absence of an actual bridge in the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge, to Isabelle of France never actually meeting Wallace. The filmmakers have acknowledged the errors and offered an obvious explanation – the changes they made were motivated by a desire to above all create a cinematic experience that thrilled. The problem is that so many have made a big deal out of using the film as a history lesson, which is a silly thing to do. The only right way to watch Braveheart is to accept it as a broad, very well made Hollywood epic that delivers what you expect – grand sentiments and speeches, a compelling hero, hugely entertaining supporting parts, battles, love affairs, etc. All accompanied by beautiful cinematography and a swelling music score; James Horner outdoes himself in the latter part and his sweeping music makes several sequences, especially near the end, overwhelmingly powerful. This is only Mel Gibson’s second directorial outing (after The Man Without a Face (1993)), but he proved himself an artist with a great eye for visual manipulation of the audience. Wearing his passion on his sleeve, Gibson doesn’t hold back in the brutal, blood-soaked battles, nor in the emotions evident in Wallace’s ultimate fate. Gibson always considered himself too old to play Wallace, but the studio demanded his star power and he’s right for a part that requires a certain madness, the scary charisma of a fundamentalist. He’s matched by McGoohan, superbly evil as King Edward I.

Gibson was accused of both homophobia and anglophobia; in the latter case it was likely reinforced by The Patriot (2000). Considering the actor’s later anti-Semitic outbursts, it’s easy to assume that where there is smoke there is fire… but the accusations against him regarding this film are exaggerated. This is good vs. evil painted on a huge canvas, and the brushwork is exquisite.

Braveheart 1995-U.S. 177 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Mel Gibson, Bruce Davey, Alan Ladd, Jr. Directed by Mel Gibson. Screenplay: Randall Wallace. Cinematography: John Toll. Music: James Horner. Costume Design: Charles Knode. Cast: Mel Gibson (William Wallace), Sophie Marceau (Isabella), Patrick McGoohan (Edward “Longshanks”), Catherine McCormack, Brendan Gleeson, James Cosmo… Brian Cox.

Trivia: Sean Connery was allegedly considered for a role.

Oscars: Best Picture, Director, Cinematography, Makeup, Sound Effects Editing. Golden Globes: Best Director. BAFTA: Best Cinematography, Costume Design, Sound. 

Quote: “Fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… our freedom!” (Gibson)

Last word: “It wasn’t necessarily authentic. Some of the stuff I read about Wallace suggests he wasn’t as nice as we saw him up there. We romanticised it a bit, but that’s the language of film – you have to make it cinematically acceptable. He had his faults, but we shifted the balance a bit, because someone’s got to be the good guys and the bad guys. It’s the way stories are told – they always have a bias and a point of view.” (Gibson, Orange)

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The Expendables 3

NEW TEAM. NEW ATTITUDE. NEW MISSION.

expendables3When the CIA learns that one of the original Expendables (Mel Gibson), who went rogue and was presumed dead, has resurfaced, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) assembles a new team to capture him. The first film in the series to get a PG-13 rating, which to the disappointment of many fans means less of a bloodbath. The action is nevertheless explosive, especially in the opening and end sequences… but it’s a lot duller in between. The cast is the franchise’s most impressive line-up yet, with Gibson a shot in the arm as the bad guy.

2014-U.S. 126 min. Color Widescreen. Directed by Patrick Hughes. Cast: Sylvester Stallone (Barney Ross), Jason Statham (Lee Christmas), Mel Gibson (Conrad Stonebanks), Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes… Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture.

Trivia: Bruce Willis dropped out after a salary argument. Nicolas Cage and Jackie Chan were allegedly considered for roles.

Razzie: Worst Supporting Actor (Grammer).

Quote: “I am the Hague”. (Stallone appoints himself both judge and executioner)

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