Looking at the punk rock-inspired poster for Expend4bles, the fourth film in The Expendables action franchise, I’m struck by how those names at the top don’t mean much anymore. The big draw of these movies when they began in 2010 was seeing Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Willis, Crews, Rourke, and more all gathered in one gigantic movie. Whether it lived up to the incredible promise wasn’t really the point. Those names were enough to knock your damn socks off.
And now in 2023, many of those big names are no longer involved. Statham seems to be doing this between a million other projects including his Fast & Furious stuff, and Stallone has already stated he’s retiring from the franchise. While some of the supporting cast kicks ass, like Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais, others like 50 Cent and Megan Fox get nothing but side-eye. Why is this movie here? If you can’t have guys like Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, etc., then what’s the point?
“They’ll Die When They’re Dead”? Kinda feels like they already are.
Anyway, the film also features Andy Garcia, Jacob Scipio, and Levy Tran, with Randy Couture returning as Toll Road. Scott Waugh directs from a Kurt Wimmer script that finds the team trying to stop a nuclear conflict with Russia.
Expend4bles opens in theaters on September 22nd. The first trailer drops tomorrow!