Every time I see a coming attraction or an ad for The Expendables, I chuckle a little because to me it’s like an action version of The Love Boat.
Back in the late seventies and eighties, the Love Boat kept a lot of has-been actors working, and The Expendables is full of action has-beens who’ve been out of the public eye for some time. (I have to admit it’s nice to see Chuck Norris again, but the dye in his beard looks pretty silly).
So if The Expendables call you in for action, it’s probably a sign your career’s in trouble, although the next Expendables flick has gotten good reviews so far. It’s great that the series has no serious aspirations, and like the modern saying goes, it is what it is.
And in this case, it’s a brawny action film with a lot of sh*t blowin’ up, drowning in testosterone. As Variety put it, “This muscle-bound meathead extravaganza is a sometimes blissfully cretinous endeavor, delivering the maximum firepower and zero brainpower its audience expects.”
So who could be called in for the next mission? Producer Avi Lerner threw out some interesting names: Nicholas Cage, Clint Eastwood, and Harrison Ford?! Yes, these guys have been approached, and it would be, ah, interesting, to say the least, if they accept, but whether they’ll do it or not is another story. (Unlike the rest of the Expendables cast, casting Eastwood and Ford isn’t a cheap proposition either).
Nicholas Cage was a great actor at his peak, now he just sleepwalks through everything, and an Expendables movie would probably be his last stop before direct to DVD movies. Lerner also told Total Film they want Wesley Snipes aboard “when he comes back from prison.” I could definitely see Cage doing this, because he’s done action before, I can see Snipes doing it too when he’s finally a free man, but Eastwood and Ford? I don’t think so. (Snipes gets out of the joint on July 19, 2013.)
So even if people are laughing at all these old action stars who’ve seen better days, at least they’re still working, and you also get the impression they’re probably having fun running away from huge explosions like they did in the old days. And again, for what they are, the fans and critics alike dig The Expendables for pure dumb fun at the movies.