Barney Ross leads his team ‘The Expendables’ on another assignment to stop a shipment of weapons from being delivered to a warlord in Somalia. However, the weapons trader turns out to be former ‘Expendables’ member Conrad Stonebanks, a man believed to be dead. Knowing that Stonebanks is incredibly dangerous and fearing for ability of his aging team Barney recruits a new, younger team. After a failed mission, the rookies are kidnapped by Stonebanks. Will Barney’s old team want to help him when they were so abruptly retired? Will they be able to?

The Expendables 3 (2014) – Director: Patrick Hughes

Is The Expendables 3 appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 126 mins

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson

Genre: Action


Following the success of the first two movies in the franchise, ‘The Expendables 3’ (which may be the last) has recruited its biggest ensemble cast yet. With names such as Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford and Antonio Banderas joining the fray, it is clear that this is a movie that wants the stars to be just as important as the plot and action. Sadly, the stars themselves have taken over at the expense of the story which is virtually non-existent.

While there are no bad performances, the audience is expected to be content with the novelty of several movie stars on screen at once. The action goes through the usual motions and gets dull very quickly whilst the plot, which should provide pace and character motivation, is barely there. This is, predictably a movie of set-pieces that are connected by quips and clichés. That may have been what The Expendables is all about, but this time around the throwback to 80s muscles and guns is lacking any real verve. Thankfully, the self-deprecating humour that was present in the previous films is still firmly there and Antonio Banderas in particular, playing an over-excitable former mercenary who is desperate for another shot at glory, is a joy to watch.

Overall, ‘The Expendables 3’ is an under-average action flick which disappoints as it could have been a lot better with even a minimally engaging plot. Even though it isn’t the greatest example of the ‘action’ genre, ‘The Expendables 3’  is entertainingly trashy; the sheer amount of explosive action and self-referential comedy is bound to appeal to those wanting something mindlessly fun to watch while munching a big box of popcorn.


The violence in the movie is excessive with many stabbings, slashings, shootings and fist fights and the body count is very high! However, this action is not particularly graphic or gory; the majority of the injuries and deaths have no blood and anything strong is done off-screen.

An incidental character is stabbed in the face and the only thing that is seen is the attacker’s hand quickly moving out of shot at head height. Another minor character has their throat slashed, he gags and chokes for a few seconds but there is no blood.

A female character is introduced to the story and she is wearing a revealing red dress. It is very short and shows quite a lot of cleavage. This is the only time that she is seen this way, in every other scene that includes her, she wears clothes which are more appropriate for fighting and martial arts. There is some innuendo due to her being the only female member of the team but nothing too strong is said.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the movie for a lot of parents is the excessive bad language which is impossible to avoid. The majority is moderate but there is also strong cursing and some sexualised swearing.



It is difficult to describe ‘The Expendables 3’ as anything other than senselessly violent, however the humour from the main cast helps it become more entertaining and enjoyable than it might otherwise be. We feel that due to the amount of bad language and the high body count, this movie is not appropriate for kids aged under the age of 10.

  • Violence: 3/5 (there is almost wall to wall action throughout and many deaths, however there is little blood or gore so children accustomed to action movies should not find this distressing)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (One major character (who has been in the other two movies) is badly injured and it is not clear whether they will survive)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (the character of Stonebanks shows no remorse when he threatens and harms other characters)
  • Sexual Content: 1/5       
  • Bad Language: 5/5 (frequent mild and moderate cursing and blasphemy; a few stronger and sexualised words are used)
  • Dialogue: 3/5 (some moderately sexual and violent dialogue. One character says “I’ll open up your meat shirt and show you your heart”)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of teamwork, revenge and protecting the people you care about.

Words by Laura Record

The Expendables 3: Extended Edition [Blu-ray]

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