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The Expendables III Trailer Promises High Flying Action, Lots To Digest

Oops pow surprise, this is our first peek at The Expendables III after yesterday's swanky poster reveals, and kudos to the folks in charge for taking things in a different visual direction. Director Patrick Hughes, a relative newbie, is the man in charge this time around, and it looks like he's comfortably widened the scope of the Expendables world. Gone are the murky shootouts and dingy warehouses of the first two films. Now we've got open country, trains, ballrooms, and, what the hell, one more dingy warehouse just for good luck. Instead of an out-and-out action movie, it looks like an actual adventure. How charming!

The Expendables III trailer was always going to look great, really: like the movies, the thrill is in seeing the roll call assembled here. As Wesley Snipes says in the trailer, it's certainly "Lots to digest." Amusingly, they rely strictly on last-name recognition with this cast, which makes sense with a Statham, a little less sense with a Crews (who should be in every movie Hollywood, what's wrong with you?), and absolutely none when it comes to "Powell." That would be Glen Powell, who had a bit role in The Dark Knight Rises and apparently is so highly regarded that IMDb lists him for The Expendables 4. That one glaring bit of text in this trailer, however, is the "one last ride" possibility.

Look, sometimes old is too old. Arnold Schwarzenegger is learning that, and it's likely soon that series architect Sylvester Stallone will pick up on that too, since he'll be 68 (!) by the time this hits theaters. It's possible he's passing the baton to the younger crew, which could be interesting. This series so far is like the All-Star Game of action movies, and Stallone is basically Michael Jordan (though Schwarzenegger has to be Wilt Chamberlain). If guys like Statham are the LeBrons, then who will be the Kevin Durants and Anthony Davis'?

And oh, what a delight it is to try to figure out the billing order for Expendables ad material. 2012's The Expendables 2 found new realms to explore by exploiting equal billing, but special "last billing" (or "senior billing," which seems more apt here) was granted, for Jean-Claude Van Damme ("also"), Bruce Willis ("with") and Arnold Schwarzenegger ("and"). That gets revisited here, with Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford both get the "with" title, and, without Willis, Schwarzenegger again gets to keep the "and" title. Seems like a joke, but in Hollywood, wars have been started over less. The Expendables III hits theaters August 15th.