With the Expendables 2 slowly sliding down the UK box office charts, I felt this little semi-review was timely.
The Expendables, and even more-so its sequel, is a highly fascinating proposition for someone of my age. A chance to revisit the action stars of my formative years, almost all at once, without really having to be troubled too much by plot, characterisation, exposition, or any of the qualities that perhaps the Oscar nominating body is looking for.
In fact, I don’t think I could tell you the names of any of the characters. Arnie played Arnie. Sly played Sly and Chuck played Chuck. Jason Statham was in it too, but to be honest I watched it, not for the teaming of the Expendables, but to see Willis, Stallone and Schwarzenegger all together.
And I wasn’t disappointed. Especially in the sequel. Even as I was about to complain about Arnie’s overuse of his famous line, Willis went all Abed-meta on us, and poked fun both at the line, and Arnie the actor’s overuse of it.
Indeed, the Expendables 2 is probably the adult version of a young boy lining up all his Action Man figures on the window ledge and inventing scenarios for them.
So what next for the franchise?
Well, rumours are abound about casting for the third installment, and it seems more than likely it will happen. So how can The Expendables 3 outdo 2, in much the same way as 2 outdid 1.
My Expendables 3 would have the Expendables team of Stallone, Statham, Li (last seen jumping out of a plane), Lundgren, Crews and Couture, with Chuck Norris again popping up just when he is most needed, team up with Church (Willis) and the as-yet unseen team of Trench (Schwarzenegger), which would consist of Wesley Snipes, Steven Seagal, Nicholas Cage, Danny Glover and Clint Eastwood playing (with some temporal poetic license) Trench’s father.
This most unlikely of mega-teams would be required to thwart a threat in the form of Harrison Ford as a megalomaniac politician bad-guy with his henchmen Jackie Chan, Mr. T and Mel Gibson, the latter of whom double-crosses Ford and in an Emmy-worthy twist, ultimately ends up being the real end-of-level meganasty.
I think it could work. Are you reading this, Mr Stallone?