Pretty much the only action-hero face missing from this super-fast tease for The Expendables 3 is Bruce Willis … and we all know the reason for that.
Otherwise, the usual suspects line up for the latest Expendables feature, from "Founding Fathers" Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews and Dolph Lundgren to newcomers like Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Antonio Banderas. But tell me it didn’t sting a little when you saw Arnold Schwarzenegger but didn’t see Willis. They should go hand in hand in this franchise. Greed is such an ugly thing.
The Expendables movies, on the flip side, are a thing of beauty… if you are a studio executive. They don’t cost a ton, and while they have been decreasing a bit at the box office, they are still a safe bet. The original movie topped the $100 million mark in 2010, though the sequel stalled at $85 million in 2012. Still enough for Lionsgate to greenlight a third, but should Stallone and crew dial back expectations? Possibly.
The full synopsis for this third Expendables movie dropped recently:
In The Expendables, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables -- but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.
How can we not be intrigued by Gibson making life difficult for his one-time action-movie colleagues? The tarnished thespian seems to have moved into a new phase of sinister roles (see Machete Kills), and can help Stallone’s sequel make bank for the sheer curiosity factor of audiences wondering how much juice – if any – Gibson has left in his blockbuster tank.
The Expendables 3 will be directed by Patrick Hughes, who previously helmed the 2010 feature Red Hill. Somehow, even after this whole story, I wasn’t able to mention that it also stars Kellan Lutz, Robert Davi, Kelsey Grammer, Wesley Snipes and Ronda Rousey. This movie is going to average one fresh face for each frame of film. It opens everywhere on Aug. 15. Are you on board?