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Movie review: ‘Expendables 3’ entertains with a high body count
First Published Aug 14 2014 04:51 pm • Last Updated Aug 19 2014 01:58 pm

Like the over-the-hill mercenaries it depicts, the bombastic action movie "The Expendables 3" is stiff and creaky, but it gets the job done.

Sylvester Stallone is back as Barney Ross, leader of a ragtag group of black-ops fighters who run into trouble on a mission to stop an arms buyer in Somalia — and discovering that the target is Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), a founding member of Ross’ unit who everyone thought was dead.

At a glance


‘The Expendables 3’

Opens Friday, Aug. 15, at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language; 126 minutes.

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Ross tells his aging crew (which includes Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and new member Wesley Snipes) that they’re done, and he goes recruiting new talent, including a sexy bar bouncer (MMA champ Ronda Rousey), a loner street fighter ("Twilight" hunk Kellan Lutz) and a cyber-savvy rock climber (Glen Powell).

Director Patrick Hughes sets the action at a furious pace that hides the ridiculously high body count and the overstuffed cast, which includes moments for returning players Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jet Li as well as new additions Harrison Ford and Antonio Banderas. The wild card is Gibson, who reminds us that he’s always magnetic onscreen, no matter what you might think of him as a human being.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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