Bradshaw Watch – ‘The Expendables 3’ (2014)

For anyone struggling to get through Peter Bradshaw’s single-paragraph review of The Expendables 3 (2014) in The Guardian, here is a rundown of his thoughts on the film – minus bluntly-stated plot details he could have copy-pasted from Wikipedia:

wesley-snipes-banderas– The poster for the film shows numerous men standing next to each other, which reminded Peter of the cover of the Beatles album Sergeant Pepper

– Peter notes that there are many actors in the cast for this film, and muses that “perhaps the fourth film will also include Tom Berenger, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dennis Waterman, Danny Dyer and Simon Russell Beale”. Clearly this was meant as a joke but, as there is no real connection between all five of the actors listed, no clear source of humour is apparent. It is possible – nay, probable – that Peter is simply taking the opportunity to list the names of random actors, in an attempt to reach the minimum length required for his reviews (248 words, apparently)

– Peter found the film somehow “under par,” though no indication is given of where his standard for “par” would have been in this case

– The film stars Sylvester Stallone, who is sometimes known by the nickname “Sly”

– Mel Gibson is also in the film, playing a “sinister bad guy”

– Several of the film’s high-profile stars are older than the usual age for a Hollywood action hero – a fact which Peter restates numerous times for comic effect, despite the fact that it is the sole, founding premise of the entire franchise

– Peter describes Harrison Ford’s performance as “grandfatherly,” noting that he has large ears which “waggle while he is delivering the lines”. The relationship between Peter’s assertion and the proffered evidence is, as ever, somewhat opaque

– Arnold Schwarzenegger is singled out as looking “physically uncomfortable” during his performance, which prompts Peter to suggest that he should “go back to Rigby & Peller to modify his gentlemen’s support”. The oddly personal implication that Schwarzenegger wears a support bra for his ‘man-boobs’ is rendered more bizarre by the fact that Rigby & Peller actually specialise in stylish, upmarket feminine lingerie

The most important question this piece raises (even more than usual) is whether a professional critic should be paid for submitting a review when it is patently obvious that he has only watched the trailer, rather than sitting through the film itself.

DO NOT BE FOOLED. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COUNTERFEIT FILM CRITICISM, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL POLICE STATION – OR LEAVE A TESTIMONIAL ON FLICKBOOK.WORDPRESS.COM

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