Rolling around in nostalgia and big hairy machismo, Sylvester Stallone's Expendables movies have been making a mint for Millennium Films. So, the crafty production company that has brought us such outlandish fare as Olympus Has Fallen and The Paperboy began to plan a way to capitalize on this franchise beyond the Expendables sequels. How about a spin-off with ass-kicking women? Call it The ExpendaBelles, because why the hell not?
So far, I've enjoyed The Expendables movies for all their earnest nostalgia, over-the-top mayhem and bonkers bromancing. But I've been eager to see how this spin-off would develop with action heroines are on the rise and a wide history of killer leading ladies to pull from. That was until today, when the studio set all my hopes for a promising action picture on fire.
In case you missed it, Millennium Films has offered a one-two gut punch to those of us hoping for an action movie fitting of the action heroines we grew up with. For starters, The ExpendaBelles will be a bunch of undercover operatives who take on the guise of "high-class call-girls." But potentially more groan-inducing than this misogynistic plotline is their chosen director. Instead of an established action-helmer or a promising new talent, the studio chose Robert Luketic, the hack behind such detestable travesties as the Katherine Heigl "comedy" The Ugly Truth and the painfully dull thriller Paranoia.
But despite these bad signs, it's not too late to turn this bomb around, right? So, here's my four steps to making The ExpendaBelles a movie worth watching.
4. Cast An Ensemble On Par With The ExpendablesThere have been promising rumblings with rumors that Cameron Diaz, Milla Jovovich and Meryl Streep are in talks. Between The Fifth Element and a long string of Resident Evil movies, Jovovich is a no-brainer for this ensemble. However, Diaz is barely an action star, despite Charlie's Angels and Knight and Day. Of course neither is Streep. But she's Meryl Fucking Streep. If she wants to pick up an uzi and do some damage, she has more than earned that.
But The ExpendaBelles also needs some classic action heroines in their crew, like Terminator 2's Linda Hamilton, La Femme Nikita's Anne Parillaud, The Matrix's Carrie-Anne Moss, and Alien's Sigourney Weaver. Hell, bring Natalie Portman on board as a nod to The Professional! For more modern-day brawlers who don't lack on brawn, add Zoe Bell, Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey to the fray. Or look to TV and bring in Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lucy Lawless, Katie Sackhoff or Jennifer Garner. I could go on and on. How about Pacific Rim's Rinko Kikuchi? Blaxploitation icon Pam Grier? Or even Hit-Girl herself, Chloe Grace Moretz? There is a big wide world of hard-hitting onscreen heroines to choose from. Millennium just needs to open up and look around.