The group of mercenaries called “The Expendables” made a visit for the third time, with guns blazing and bombs exploding, caring little for your aural senses. If you loved the plain simple action of the old, when a bullet by our hero would find its mark while dozens by the bad guys would zigzag away, then you may still have enjoyed some bits of The Expendables 3. But largely people turned away disappointed. The movie has earned about $27 million over ten days in North America, and is unlikely to even touch $50 million, making it easily the lowest grosser of the franchise at the domestic box-office. But there is a big audience outside USA too, and if things work better there, we may still see a fourth visit by our old friends. But even in the absence of The Expendables, action will not die! All these actors, most of them way past their prime, have lost little of their zeal for movies and still carry enough charisma to make you look up and notice. So what’s in store now for this bunch?
Sylvester Stallone, the leader of the gang, had rose back up the ranks in Hollywood with quite a few terrific movies in the past half decade or so. But things have looked a bit messy for two years in a row now, and maybe it is time to go back to his iconic roles. Before that, we will see Stallone as part of a wide cast in Reach Me, a drama film, releasing this year, which had to finance itself through the crowdfunding route. Doubt that this one has much box-office potential. But beyond that, we hear Stallone is already working on the next Rambo movie (this time taking on a Mexican cartel). Along with that, it seems the proposed spin-off to the Rocky series with Creed (centered on Apollo Creed’s grandson) is also on the cards. Whenever Stallone’s career has taken a dip, these two of his greatest characters have resurrected it back, and maybe another dose is all it needs.
Jason Statham is still not 50, and so is kinda the “young” guy in the Expendables group. He too is facing a rough patch at the moment, though one thing he can’t complain of, is being out of work. His next appearance will be in Wild Card where he plays a recovering gambling addict who finds work providing protection to his friends. This sounds a typical Statham movie, less words, lots of action, but limited impact. One can’t say the same about his next film, Fast & Furious 7 releasing in summer of 2015. His post-credits appearance in the previous instalment was met with huge cheers, and his presence as an antagonist to Vin Diesel in the series will make for some really exciting chemistry. Set to release on the same day as Fast & Furious 7 (as of now) is Spy starring Statham along with Melissa McCarthy, with the latter playing the central role. This one is being directed by Paul Feig of Bridesmaids fame, and will be another comedy, which would be a good diversion for Statham. After all, how long can you keep staring at people with such intensity!
Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t yet found his footing in Hollywood, post his Governor days, and not much can be expected to change with Maggie releasing later this year which is a horror action film featuring zombies (yet again). But just like Stallone, Arnie too is going back to the iconic role that made him a legend, aha, Terminator. He’s in the mix of things with the 2015 reboot Terminator: Genisys, and even with him inching towards 70, we can never have enough of Arnie as the Terminator. There’s the sequel of Twins called Triplets in the making, as well as another Conan movie, so seems like Arnie is trying to make the nostalgia count.
Harrison Ford made his entry in The Expendables 3 and even at the age of 72, he’s hardly taking things slow. There is nothing remotely action-filled in Ford’s next movie The Age of Adaline releasing early next year, which is in fact a romantic drama. But the big buzz is of course on his return to the George Lucas created world of Star Wars as Episode VII is undergoing filming, and Han Solo is as much a part of it as anyone else. This movie is slated for a December 2015 release. Beyond that, we may get to see him in a Blade Runner sequel, if that goes through, and maybe another Indiana Jones film, though it hasn’t been announced. Wouldn’t surprise me if one of these do happen!
Mel Gibson made quite an emphatic appearance in The Expendables 3 as he took on Stallone and company. We have seen very little of him in the past decade, and even now there is only one movie he’s associated with, Blood Father, where Gibson will play an ex-con trying to reunite and protect his teenage daughter. On the other hand, Antonio Banderas, who also shone in The Expendables 3, has a lot on his plate. He’ll be seen in the Terrance Malik drama film Knight of Cups as well as the sci-fi thriller Autómata (which is filled with robots and stuff). Banderas is then providing his vocals for the animated film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, playing Pablo Picasso in 33 días, and featuring in the drama The 33 based on true events around trapped miners. Phew! As for Wesley Snipes, it’s been only a year since his prison release (income tax related conviction), and The Expendables 3 was his first movie to hit the theatres in the subsequent period. There isn’t much in his kitty as of now (same is the case with Jet Li) but things could gradually improve.
Well, those are the A-listers of the latest Expendables movie though the group isn’t complete of course without mentioning Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren and Terry Crews. Everyone seems quite busy with their schedules, but if a fourth instalment in the franchise is announced, then you can bet on them to make a return (apart from the ones who have been killed in the franchise, of course).