The Expendables franchise takes audiences back to the 1980s, a time when names like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Lundgren lit up movie marquees.
The films also recall when muscle-bound heroes mirrored a nation’s rise under President Ronald Reagan. The franchise, however, doesn’t get political. It’s more of a throwback to an earlier era of action movies, not an excuse for soapbox punditry.
The third film in the series offers a slight change in direction.
The Expendables 3 features a scene in which Barney (Sylvester Stallone) and newcomer Galgo (Antonio Banderas) discuss why Galgo left his former team. It’s something Banderas’ character had been reluctant to share up until then.
Turns out Galgo was stationed in Benghazi at the time of the terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. What follows is a sly indictment of what happened on that awful day.
“It all went bad,” Galgo says. “We waited for support. No one ever came. Everybody died,” Galgo tells Barney.
Critics have slammed the Obama administration for its handling of the terrorist attack, both in its transparency regarding its actions and how it initially blamed the response to a YouTube video for the savagery.
The Expendables 3, starring Mel Gibson, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, Robert Davi and Ronda Rousey, hits theaters tomorrow, Aug. 15.