I was unbelievably hyped about The Expendables 1. I followed it since it’s Inglorious Bastards/Tarantino days. You should read more about that here. When Stallone revealed a new name every other month starting in late 2008, Statham, Li, Lundgren. Schwarzenegger, Willis… I thought the hype could never be topped. I was right. EX2 hype was sorta equal – Van Damme, Adkins and the Director of Con Air. But it was soured by the PG Fiasco. With The Expendables, it was a case of anticipating the next piece of news being cooler than the last. With The Expendables 3, it’s the opposite. It’s a case of worrying if the next piece of news is going to be worse than the last.
It’s a case of hoping that it won’t suck.
Take the news that Patrick Hughes is the director. To me, that’s not good news. I’ve seen Red Hill 2 years ago, it’s worth watching and nothing more. It’s merely a case of ‘I hope he doesn’t fuck this up’ or ‘I hope’ this isn’t a yes-man for cheap-ass Lerner. Had it been Gibson, Woo or Evans as director, it would’ve been a case of I KNOW this is going to be fucking amazing. Another example – hoping that filming in Bulgaria, again, won’t negatively affect the movie. I swore Die Hard 5 was the last straw with that shit. Or worrying about Stallone’s demands that ‘even more humor’ be inserted when it was the biggest problem of part 2. The rumors of comedic action-men Chan and Cage appearing don’t alleviate such anxiety.
In the end, I’m cautiously optimistic, but only just. And that’s disappointing. This film needs some bombshells, some clarification, and fast. At the minute, a Snipes rumor isn’t enough. Are we ditching the humor/self awareness? Are we really hiring that director to let him do his own visceral thing? And we going Hard-R this time? Doesn’t look like it. Looks like we have complacency here. And I’m struggling to care.