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ROB HEDELT reviews movies and TV shows,  and is a  columnist for The Free Lance-Star. You can email him at

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The third “Expendables” the best of the lot

With Sylvester Stallone’s third latest installment of his “Expendables” series, you get what you expect from a series where supposedly over-the-hill fighters (and actors?) save the day.

What’s a bit surprising about this latest installment is the fact that much of it isn’t a bad movie, with things moving along fairly smoothly until getting overblown in the final battle.

The gimmick of putting every older action hero around in the cast, from Mel Gibson to Antonio Banderas to Jet Li, doesn’t even ruin the momentum.

What makes it all easier to take, at least for this reviewer, is the fact that the bloodshed and gore has been trimmed back from the R-rated level in the first two films of the series to the PG-13 in this one.

That’s still plenty, but it makes the film easier to stomach. And at least until things get silly in the last battle, makes the earlier skirmishes almost believable.

These films are what they are, an excuse for action and firepower.

But it was a stroke of genius to take enough gore and bloodshed off the screen in an attempt to widen the appeal of this one.

Even if throwing some two dozen actors into battle does seem a bit much.


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