If you’re anunapologetic fan of noisy, neck-snapping ’80s action movies like me, the slowdribble of plot tidbits and casting crumbs for 2010’s The Expendableshas no doubt whet your appetite for what’s shaping up to be quite possibly thegreatest flick of all time. If you’re late to the red-meat, rat-a-tat,Reagan-era party, here’s what all the excitement is about:
Sylvester Stallonehas written and, starting next month, will be directing a throw-back action extravaganzaabout a lethal posse of ruthless mercenaries who are hired on the sly by theCIA to topple a South American dictator. So far, so good, right? I know whatyou’re thinking: this guy should have retired years ago—some time around CopLand. But if you coughed up ten bucks to see last year’s Rambo (andguessing from its disappointing haul at the box office, I was only one of abouta dozen people who did), then you know that Sly can still exterminate withextreme prejudice.
But what really has my inner-13 year old really geeked up is the cast.According to Variety, Stallone will topline the band of not-so-merryhe-men along with Jet Li, Jason Statham, UFC goon Randy Couture, and freshlyminted Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke. Other possible names being knocked aroundinclude Ben Kingsley, who, anyone who’s seen Sexy Beast will recall, canplay a hair-trigger psycho. Not drooling yet? Ok, here’s five more reasons whyI’m counting down till The Expendables.
1. Stallone looks scary…ina good way. There are already pre-production photos of Sly floating around theInternet. And he looks totally yoked, covered in tattoos. Yes, the dude may be62, but in these pics he looks like he could snap Rambo’s neck like a dry twig.
2. Statham Unleashed.Has there been a better Cockney tough guy since the Get Carter-eraMichael Caine? Granted, his Transporter movies are a little too PG-13for my sweet tooth, but if you’ve seen Crank, Death Race, or Snatch,you know there’s more mature-audience mayhem simmering inside of him just dyingto get out. Hopefully, this is the venue for letting that particular genie outof the bottle.
3. Will MickeyRourke’s comeback continue? Who doesn’t want to see what he does next? Afterdestroying his career—and his once-handsome face— his resurrection in TheWrestler has made Rourke one of the most compelling figures in Hollywood.What will he do with his new-found capital? I, for one, think this kind ofmovie is exactly what he should be doing. I’d rather see him bust someskulls than make a movie with Kate Winslet or Dame Judi Dench.
4. The long-awaited RockyIV rematch. Stallone and Dolph Lundgren together again! I’ve been waitingyears to write that sentence. Say what you want about Lundgren’s direct-to-DVDresume of late (I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve kept up with theselow-budget cheapies and some of them are surprisingly good), the one-timeonscreen knuckle-bruiser and Italian Stallion foe, Ivan Drago, deserves to bethe next Mickey Rourke-style reclamation project.
5. The return of thebuddy action flick. As Quentin Tarantino cobbles together his intentionallymisspelled WWII guys-on-a-mission homage-a-palooza, Inglourious Basterds,Stallone’s entry has the benefit of being the stealthy bottom-half of a DirtyDozen-style double feature. As much as I love watching Jason Bourne takingon the world single-handedly, there’s nothing like watching a brawny band ofbrothers getting their hands covered in blood (think Schwarzenegger’s Predator).The world is a dangerous place these days. Maybe, just maybe, it takes a ragtagvillage of expendable badasses to sort it out.
We’ll keep you postedas more news Expendables news comes out, but until then, what do youthink? Will this thing rock or what?