Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Expanding Expendables

Monday I was watching The Expendables 3 on DVD.  It's an OK movie for mindless action and explosions as with the previous 2 entries.  A primary thrust of the movie is that Sylvester Stallone decides to dump his old team to recruit some new blood of people you haven't heard of except maybe for UFC champion Ronda Rousey, who probably shouldn't give up her day job.

Anyway, one thing about the Expendables franchise is it's kind of like your local oldies station.  I mean when I was a kid "oldies" were 50s, 60s, and the occasional early 70s song.  As time as gone by, "new" oldies are added so that it won't be long until the songs I listened to in high school in the mid-90s will be "oldies."  In the same way the Expendables franchise started with mostly 80s action stars like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, and Bruce Willis.  Then with the sequels they add more 90s ones like Jean-Claude van Damme, Antonio Banderas, and Wesley Snipes.

Which got me thinking then, what big action stars would you recruit from the 2000s?  When I thought about it, it's kind of a depressing list.  The only two real old-school type action stars I could think of are the Rock and Vin Diesel of the Fast & Furious franchise.

After that you get to mostly guys who were in superhero movies like:
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Tobey Maguire
  • Christian Bale
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Matt Damon
  • Daniel Craig
  • Mark Wahlburg
  • Viggo Mortensen
  • Orlando Bloom
The thing is most of those guys are dramatic actors who bulked up (steroids!) and thanks to modern fight choreographers and CGI could be action stars.  They really don't belong in the same room as Stallone and Schwarzenegger and the old-school muscleheads.

That kind of actor is pretty much a dying breed, at least among the A-list.  Nowadays I guess we want someone who can act in addition to just punching people and blowing shit up.  That's a good thing but in some ways it's a bad thing too.  I mean with the old-school types it's really simple; you don't need to have complex character arcs and motivations to mess things up.  I suppose as with your oldies station time moves on.

The other thing I was thinking was who else could you add to the Expendables franchise?  I broke my list down by time periods like this:

Geriatric Set:
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Robert de Niro
  • Al Pacino
  • Sean Connery
  • Tom Cruise
  • Brad Pitt
  • Nic Cage
  • Steven Seagal
  • Jackie Chan
  • Will Smith
  • Ben Affleck
  • Liam Neeson
  • Brendan Fraser
  • Samuel L Jackson
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • The Matrix (Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss)
2000s I pretty much went through.

  • The Avengers (Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johannson but not Mark Ruffalo because he doesn't fight anyone in the movie)
  • Channing Tatum
  • Tom Hardy
  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Liam Hemsworth
  • Henry Cavill
  • Chris Pratt
What names do you think are missing from the list?


  1. I think that your missing something here. There's been a shift away from action and into comic books and personally, I really prefer comic books. They are the new action movies and the plots are way better than anything Tango and Cash ever cooked up. My muscle-bound action stars today are Chris Evans and Chris Helmsworth (both are very hunky men) and of course, the female action superstar (comic book hero) Scarlett Johannson (She's the modern day Ripley).

  2. I can't think of anyone else, but, then, I'm really bad at stuff like that.

    I think action heroes are less musclebound nowadays. You had Keanu Reeves on there; and there's Tom Cruise. They're the new kind: tough but not bodybuilders.

  3. Oh OH OH! Kurt Russell! And Denzel Washington. And how about some ladies? Angelina Jolie. I'm not a fan but she should be on there. And that woman wrestler who was in that thing by Steven Soderberg. (See what I mean that I'm not good a these?)

  4. I was going to say Jackie Chan, but you got him.
    It could be funny to have Owen Wilson pop in as a cameo.



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