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'Expendables 3' packed with faded superstars

The cast of The Expendables 3 includes, from left, Sylvester Stallone, Randy Couture, Antonio Banderas, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes and Dolph Lundgren.

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The cast of The Expendables 3 includes, from left, Sylvester Stallone, Randy Couture, Antonio Banderas, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes and Dolph Lundgren.

Any 20th century action star who's still ambulatory and not invited to join The Expendables 3 (PG-13) should be miffed. Except for Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris, who served their time in Part 2 and understandably bailed on this one.

Replacing them in a dream cast (if you're Rip Van Winkle) are faded superstars Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas. Plus Kelsey Grammer, who isn't tough but he's old enough. Of course, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li and Arnold Schwarzenegger are still around because what else do they have going on? It was either this or rebooting Cocoon.

This time, the old-timers are admitting they've lost a step, in action and at the box office, inviting a few butt-kicking whippersnappers to join in. There's some Twilight appeal with Kellan Lutz (or maybe his Legend of Hercules lack of appeal), and some MMA allure with Ronda Rousey. Jason Statham and UFC icon Randy Couture are scowling bridges between the generation gap.

The plot revolves around arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago formed the Expendables with Barney Ross (Stallone) and now wants to exterminate them. My suggestion is booby traps during early bird hours at Golden Corral.

The Expendables 3 wasn't screened in time for Weekend review.

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

'Expendables 3' packed with faded superstars 08/12/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 7:37pm]

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