Matthew Lickona 12:30 p.m., March 4
The Expendables 3
For a little while at the outset, you may find reason to smile: Wesley Snipes is very nearly charming as a newly sprung compatriot for senior super-soldier Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone, in frequent and extended closeup). When fellow Expendable Dolph Lundgren asks what he was in for, Snipes deadpans, "Tax evasion," the first and best of the film's frequent allusions to the actors' earlier work and personal lives. But as Ross notes, nothing lasts forever. The tone grows ever more serious, even as the action grows ever more ludicrous. By the end, you may find yourself pining for the days when you could tell the good guys from the bad guys without looking at the uniforms. Also wondering just how sincere story-writer Stallone is about his rather bleak political vision. (Yes, there's a Benghazi reference.) Mel Gibson summons up a little of the old crazy for his turn as the bad guy, and since the youth (market) must be served, we get introduced to the Expendables Babies along the way. 2014.