Sylvester Stallone has been hard at work on his latest project, The Expendables, casting some of the biggest names in the action genre from the last 20 years. So far, Sly has assembled an impressive cast of action stars including Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Danny Trejo, Forest Whitaker, Mickey Rourke, MMA superstar Randy Coture, an alleged cameo by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sly himself. But Sly decided that just wasn’t enough ass kickers for one action film, so he went out and cast former pro wrestler and star of 2007’s The Condemned, Stone Cold Steve Austin! The Texas rattlesnake, the baddest dude in the then WWF, the man responsible for opening can after can of whoop ass. A man who will gladly flip you off, kick your ass, and then stand over your broken body while he has himself a beer. Now, things have gotten a little more interesting, haven’t they? I like Stone Cold. I’d buy him as a bad ass dude with nothing to lose. He seems to fit in perfectly with the cast. Everything I would expect this film to be is completely within his “acting range.” I wouldn’t expect Steve Austin to be anything other than a guy with a big knife and a machine gun; a guy who says things like “Hell Yes!” and “Yee-hah!” He’ll do fine. All we need now is Bruce Willis and Jean-Claude Van Damme, and we have a complete action experience! Now before I get into my thoughts on the project, let me provide you a little details on the plot of The Expendables. Keep in mind, this information is based off of what has been gathered from various interviews and articles about the film.
“After years of corruption , murder of American hostages and betrayal of foreign policies, The US with the help of other Nations secretly put together a squad of its most trained military personal to finaly over throw the dictator who has caused devastation in South America for over 20 years. The team sets out on its mission to complete the assassination but with little help from the nations as they try to keep the mission secret. After they realize that there will be no outside help they rely on their own sources to fight not only the dictator’s army but also the Governments that set them up.”
All indications are that The Expendables will be a truly intense action experience. I’m not looking for drama, or character development, or even intelligent dialogue; I’m looking for big explosions and the botox-filled faces of aging action icons. Make no mistake about it, this movie is going to be EPIC!!! I want to see explosions, violent kills, and the baddest weapons on the planet. I want to hear loads of swearing and bad puns. I EXPECT cliches, and lots of them. This is, after all, a movie staring some of the biggest, cheesiest actors from the great 80’s action flicks. Those movies were filled with bad cliches, so why not let Rourke, Lundgren, Sly and Arnold operate in their comfort zone. Why not fill the film with classic 80’s rock, from bad ass 80’s bands like Poison, Guns N Roses, and Def Leopard. Complete the experience!
All kidding aside, I actually have enjoyed Stallone’s latest projects, even when I thought I wouldn’t. He managed to surprise me with both Rocky Balboa AND Rambo (or John Rambo, whatever the hell you want to call it). Both films did nothing to lessen the impact of the original series of films they followed. That is an unusual feat, considering that most movies based on franchises “that have fallen from the public eye in recent years” tend to be lame attempts to cash in on the characters again. What I’m trying to say is that it appears that Stallone actually cares about these films, and is willing to put in the work to make a good movie as opposed to just relying on name value. Since Stallone acted as the writer, director AND star of those films, it also shows that he still knows how to make a damn good action film.
I have complete faith in Stallone on this one. I’ve always been a big fan of his; I even enjoyed some of his critical failures, like Judge Dredd, Cop land and Demolition Man. I think it’s very impressive that Sly has been able to assemble such an amazing cast of big name action stars, and even though some of them may be past their time, they carry some serious name recognition. And I’m almost certain that some of them are looking to break the perceptions about them that were derived from the films they starred in during their prime. To get them all together to do a film that seems so eerily similar to the films from their past, that’s nothing short of amazing. But you may want to take my opinion with a grain of salt. Still, I think all the evidence so far points to The Expendables being a success, both critically and financially. Now, I’m not saying that it will be a blockbuster, far from it. But I believe the film will be a success along the lines of his last two films, making enough money to cover costs AND leave everyone involved a little richer in the process. At this stage in the game, it’s not like we can expect Stallone to sequelize The Expendables. Although, this is Hollywood. Nothing surprises me anymore.
The Expendables, an original Sylvester Stallone project from Nu Image/Millennium Films, will begin filming later this month with an eye on a mid-summer release. Keep an eye out for this one. I have a feeling this is one action film you WON’T want to miss. And that’s the bottom line… ’cause Stone Cold said so!