Kevin: Well CJ I wanted to reassure you that you are not in some kind of “Groundhog Day”-type time loop, even though we are getting news yet again in early January about another possible “Expendables” sequel. We had covered the earlier announcement last year but didn’t bother doing a follow-up when the project was subsequently cancelled, mainly because after the disappointment of the PG-13-rated “Expendables 3” I don’t think we were really on pins and needles waiting for another adventure for Barney Ross and whatever the other guys names are.
Yet here we are again, with Stallone dropping hints that the project is back on through his usual method: on his Instagram page, possibly while drunk. The first post carried a message from Sly saying “Just when you thought it was safe to go outside … They’re coming back.” Not sure what that means or why it sounds like a horror movie tag line. Like why should I worry about going outside, is there a good chance I will be killed by our heroes even though I’m not a bad guy?
His post also contained a photo of three of his costars with the wording: “We are the shadows and the smoke, WE RISE. We are the ghosts that hide in the night.” Again, this kind of ominous text doesn’t exactly jibe with the overall tone of the three movies we have seen thus far.
Sly followed that up with another post in which he said: “Barney will be back! Plus the crew and a couple new members.” Hopefully that isn’t the film’s official tag line, as it needs a little work. And hopefully his version of “the crew” is confined to the group we actually like and not Kellan Lutz or, god forbid, Ronda Rousey from “Expendables 3.”
So CJ what do you think transpired to overcome the “creative differences” between Sly and the studio which previously scuttled a potential “Expendables 4”? And by that I mean how much money did they have to dump off at Sly’s gate to make this worth his while again? And how likely is it that one of the new members will be Jackie Chan and/or Wu Jing, the star of “Wolf Warrior 2,” which broke all kinds of box office records in China on its way to grossing nearly a billion dollars in the Middle Kingdom alone? And we can pretty much guarantee that a good chunk of any possible “Expendables 4” will take place in China as well, correct?
More importantly, do you still give a damn about the idea of another “Expendables” after the last one? On that note, remember when we were excited about seeing Wesley Snipes back in action again, and then they gave him nothing to do while we instead focused on a bunch of bland millennials who you’d expect to see on a CW show, not a supposed old-school badass action film?
CJ: I believe “Logan” and “Deadpool” happened, and Sly showed them those numbers and told the studio to go fuck themselves. Seriously, those movies helped remind us that R-rated movies are indeed viable if you put something together that people want to see (“Expendables” 1 & 2), but ratings don’t matter if you force crap down our throats (“Expendables 3”). So the numbers are in fact in Sly’s favor. I’d also like to believe that Instagramming late night threats about new film projects is Sly’s version of us drunk-texting our exes.
Now similar to the end of “Justice League,” I’m actually hoping this one is about a rag-tag team of ‘80s bad guys who, through the magic of ignoring what happens to them in their movies, are conveniently still alive. They are sitting around the table and decide, “Hey, remember the good old days when we owned some local town, beat our women, committed murder in the first degree, and everyone was generally fine with it (because otherwise we’d kill the hell out of them with no consequences)? Also, am I specifically talking about Brad Wesley from “Road House” here? Yes. But really, most of them fall somewhere on that general spectrum.
Anyways, my hope is that Wesley, Dellaplane from “Action Jackson,” Mr. Joshua from “Lethal Weapon,” Milo from “The Last Boy Scout,” and even Al Leong from everything unite and create a new evil plan that only the Expendables can stop. Or can’t stop. I really wouldn’t mind seeing the bad guys win at least once, cause their plan usually just involves letting the booze flow and having the ladies dance around their giant swimming pools. Why must they be stopped again?
Kevin: Perhaps you still have Brad Wesley on the brain because we just got back from an Alamo Drafthouse screening of “Road House” (write-up coming soon); I just had a very erotic dream involving Ben Gazzara last night myself. Although speaking of “Road House,” if Sly is gonna be adding new members to this team, I’d rather he go the opposite direction from the last one and fill the squad with a bunch of grizzled old-timers like Sam Elliott, Fred Ward, Keith David, and a CGI recreation of the late Powers Boothe.
Either way, I just hope if we do get a number 4 that it goes back in the direction of the first “Expendables,” which was more grounded and serious amid the crowd-pleasing bloodbaths than people remember. I usually prefer Sly’s heart-on-the sleeve, unironic sincerity to his attempts at trying to please even the least coherent of his Instagram followers, so hopefully a fourth “Expendables” will be closer to the last “Rambo” than “Stop, or My Mom Will Shoot” in tone. Either way, right now I am still more worried about his idea for bringing Ivan Drago back for “Creed 2,” so let’s just get through one potentially misguided sequel as they come.
Of course there is one thing that could get me excited about a possible “Expendables 4,” and I think we all know what that is: more Grammer!