is not nearly as necessary as a roll call. It’s an amiably aggressive shambles, just like its predecessors. So let’s just focus on who’s new to the zoo, shall we?
Mel Gibson has been hauled from his realworld naughty corner to play this episode’s arch- villain, an international arms smuggler trading under the archly villainous name of Conrad Stonebanks.
While Gibson could serve up a deranged nutcake like this in his sleep, he elects to stay awake for the duration of the fi lm. In fact, he delivers the only real acting to be seen here. Sure, it is wasted energy on his part, but he wants to remind one and all there is still some voltage left in his batteries, bless him.
Harrison Ford bobs up now and then as the Expendables’ CIA handler Max Drummer.
In most scenes, he gives off the vibe of a man who has just been dragged from his trailer and is impatiently waiting for someone to drag him back.
Antonio Banderas wins the I’m Way Too Excited To Be Here award as the jumpy, chatty mercenary Galgo.
Wesley Snipes is all business, all the time, as Doctor Death, a long- lost Expendable who is spectacularly rescued from captivity in the
THE HUNDRED- FOOT JOURNEY
COMFORT food as a comforting movie? There could be worse things wafting into your local cinema. In fact, The Hundred- Foot Journey is that rare serving of feel- good fare that keeps improving as its familiar ingredients settle and some subtler, unexpected fl avours rise to the fore. Early on, it’s a sunny tale of two rival restaurants separated by a stone’s throw in a pretty French village. The fi rst is a famously fi lm’s one great action sequence. Snipes is actually in fi ne form and even slips in a gag about why he’s been off the grid for so long.
Later plot developments see the introduction of some youthful recruits, all of whom are on the wrong side of 35 in Expendables terms – a forgettable bunch who chew up way too much screen time. Anything else to report? Well, in what might stand as the most genius screenwriting moment this year, the fi nale includes a suicide mission to one of the most treacherous political hotspots on the planet – a nation with a name that strikes fear into the heart of cartographers and atlas editors everywhere: Assmanistan. posh joint run by an imperious madam ( Helen Mirren). The other, a traditional Indian family eatery run by newly arrived immigrants, is yet to forge its reputation. Under the direction of Lasse Hallstrom ( Chocolat ), this delightful tale ( based on the best- seller by Richard C. Morais) takes a turn for the better when one head chef crosses the street and sides with the enemy. The culinary craft is mouth- watering, but it is the fi lm’s collection of wonderful characters that will truly satisfy all tastes.