In the opening of this third instalment of the action franchise, Arnold Schwarzenegger turns to Sylvester Stallone and wearily confides, “I’m getting out of this business... and so should you.”
Sage advice from the former governor of California.
His words fall on deaf ears because The Expendables is a cash cow for Stallone, who directed and co-wrote the opening salvo in 2010 and has been reliving his muscle-bound glory days ever since.
Australian director Patrick Hughes, who impressed with the gritty low-budget western Red Hill, takes charge of this outlandish mission festooned with bone-crunching hand-to-hand combat, pithy one-liners and deafening explosions.
The Expendables 3 is an entertaining and ridiculously far-fetched tour of duty that sensibly welcomes fresh faces to the fold and provides Banderas, Ford, Gibson and Snipes with sizeable roles to turn back the clocks.
They look like proud fathers, passing the mantle to the next generation of action heroes, who could potentially help the Expendables sequels reach double digits while Stallone does his bit for the cause with a zimmer frame rocket launcher.