I’m not the biggest fan of the Expendables franchise. I mean, I’m not opposed to it necessarily, but it’s not my favorite. Part of the reason is because it’s too much of the same. Every movie is just a man teaming up to fight some bad guys. That’s it. There’s no real story to it. There’s no character development. The movies try to be cool by being “gritty” and “real” by having the heroes call each other by their first names, but their characterizations do not go beyond superficial. They’re just two-dimensional people who fight and die for the same reasons as their movie predecessors.
The Expendables franchise has been around since 2004. Since then, the action movie has spawned six sequels, an animated series, comic book series, video game series, toy line, and more than a few lineups of action figures for action figure collectors. The franchise has also spawned several prequels and sequels that have little or nothing to do with the original movies. This week, Sylvester Stallone, an actor perhaps most famous for his role as Rocky Balboa, was on hand to promote Expendables 4, the latest movie to star the Expendables.
The Expendables 4 Locks and Loads (I’m not joking here). It was only a few months ago that we were told that there would be two Expendables 4 movies. But now we’ve learned that there will actually be four. And, as it turns out, those “few months” that we were told were actually over a year.
4 Locks and Loads Expendables
Lionsgate and Millennium Media have revealed information about the long-awaited (by some, including me) The Expendables 4. Barney Ross is calling in his pals — at least some of them. The film will begin production in October, with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture reprising their roles from the previous three films. Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson will appear in unspecified roles with them. Act of Valor, Need for Speed, and a Josh Hartnett snowboarding trick I didn’t know existed until I looked him up for this post will all be directed by Scott Waugh. Spenser Cohen wrote the script, which was rewritten by Max Adams and John Joseph Connolly. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, who broke the news first, the picture will center on Statham’s Lee Christmas, with Megan Fox portraying the female protagonist; however, Cinema Blend claims that The Expendables 4 is not the actual title. That matches Stallone’s Instagram post from a week ago, in which he referred to the film as a spinoff and revealed the working title as Christmas Story.
I push myself to remain cautiously hopeful at moments like this. The first two Expendables films were fantastic, but the third was a huge disappointment. When the bullets began flying, the camera immediately moved away from the soon-to-be-dead bad men, lest any blood gushed from the gaping wounds. Furthermore, the action stars we expect to see in Expendables films were largely absent for the most of the picture, in favor of Rhonda Rousey and a handful of other uninteresting losers. Why bring back a great like Wesley Snipes just to replace him with a computer geek for the whole second act? After such a bad note, I’m hoping The Expendables 4 will be a return to form, with plenty of bloodshed and macho language about being a warrior, like the previous films did. Some of the larger stars, I believe, aren’t returning to save money; the same is likely to be true of the director and writers, whose résumés suggest that they came cheap. Scott Waugh, on the other hand, might be a coup since he’s done stunt work on a number of great films, like Speed, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Spartan, Sudden Death, and even Shoot to Kill! With that kind of versatility, I could see him pulling off some fantastic action set pieces. In terms of the new actors, they’re all fine. Tony Jaa is deserving of inclusion, and I’m curious whether he’ll succeed Jet Li as the Asian martial arts master. Megan Fox is sultry and seems to be having a good time, therefore she’s a good match for a female lead in an action film. I don’t have a strong opinion on 50 Cent, but I hope he doesn’t play the villain because I’d want to see someone bigger than life take on the Expendables. Maybe, like Kelsey Grammer last time, he’ll be an ally they encounter along the road. (Another point against the third one: how can you bring in Kelsey Grammer without him killing some bad people before declaring, “I’m listening?”?) My hopes are crossed for another entertaining, old-school action film.
What do you think of The Expendables 4? Do you like the series? Will Stallone be persuaded by a lesser budget that Jeff Speakman is a suitable fit for the cast? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned to Geeks + Gamers for more movie news!
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