That's it, really. And you could be forgiven for doubting the existence of this supposed moral conscience given the carefree manner with which Ross and returning Expendables Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture), and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) off anonymous henchmen in the first 30 minutes. But they do manage to rescue Doctor Death, a one-time member of the group played by Wesley Snipes, who exists primarily to make jokes about tax evasion and engage in knife-throwing contests with Christmas.
After Caesar is gravely wounded in a showdown that simultaneously reveals the existence of Stonebanks, Ross, who’s played by an actor two years away from 70, ditches his team of 50-somethings because they're too old, which is a bit like octogenarian Hugh Hefner retiring Bridget Marquardt from his coterie of bunnies after she turned 35. This gives Ross the opportunity to bring in a new fleet of characters including Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer), a sort of recruitment professional for mercenaries who travels around the world with Ross helping him pick out a wrinkle-free crew.
During this montage of scenes in exotic locales, Stallone sports a series of ever-more-extraordinary outfits, including a pork-pie hat and a formal blazer that appears to be fashioned from a Navajo horse blanket. His face, meanwhile, is a shade of mahogany that might cause even John Boehner and George Hamilton to raise an eyebrow, and he has increasing difficulty forcing it into recognizable expressions. When Ross first sees Stonebanks, whom everyone has long believed is dead, his top lip quivers infinitesimally until it almost looks like a sneer—an approximation of what we're supposed to believe is rage. But his trademark growl, three octaves below a baritone, is as velvety as ever it was in the bygone Rocky/Rambo era.
The movie borrows so liberally from other action films that it starts to feel at times a bit like a BuzzFeed listicle. Stonebanks makes a video and sends it to Ross in which he seems to be doing an impression of Heath Ledger's Joker, while his short-lived capture at the hands of the Expendables has echoes of Mission Impossible 3. There are double entendres and premature-ejaculation jokes that might embarrass even a ‘90s Bond movie, and Stonebanks's decision to conduct arms deals inside an art museum in Bucharest is the kind of terrible planning that could only come from a comic-book villain.
That's not to say it can't be fun, and it is, after the first 90 minutes or so. Ross's new crew includes former Navy Seal John Smilee (Kellan Lutz), who has the ability to ride a motorcycle and snarl; Thorn (Glen Powell), a hacker; Mars (Victor Ortiz), whose specialty is indeterminable; and lone female Luna (played by MMA and UFC star Ronda Rousey). He also calls in help from CIA contact Max Drummer (Harrison Ford, who appears to be doing it for kicks), Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and Yin Yang (Jet Li).