It seems that movies like The Expendables fall into a certain category of retro action, or to coin a phrase “Triple-R” (Retro-Rated-R). Action movies with a mixture of violence and nostalgia. And it may be seen as a dead niche with the recent PG-13 news, almost like these movies are down. They’re not out though. They don’t begin and end with The Expendables.
There are a few more on the horizon. The first I want to mention is Beverly Hills Cop IV. This no longer a development hell pipe dream. The release date is now March 25, 2016. There are even rumours that it’ll begin production mere weeks after the release of The Expendables 3. Cop IV is significant for a number of reasons. It is a franchise from ’80s nobility. But there’s also a difference between Jerry Bruckheimer and Avi Lerner. Last year, Bruckheimer left unceremoniously from Disney. Bruckheimer cited his distaste for the PG bullshit Disney kept pitching to him. He headed for Paramount and declared his first project with them would be Cop IV. Then there’s Eddie Murphy. Quizzed last year on the ‘Ellen’ talkshow, Murphy declared that his recent movies have been shit and that Beverly Hills Cop IV will not happen unless it’s a worthy sequel. Well he has signed on. The one worrying element is Brett Ratner because, well… Brett Ratner. But I think the good money is on 90% of the old gang returning and maybe, just maybe, it’ll do for Murphy what Rambo (2008) did for Stallone. He was hungry then, Eddie is hungry now.
Shooting around the same time as Beverly Hills Cop IV is London Has Fallen, sequel to manly Die Hard clone Olympus Has Fallen (review here). That movie really would not have looked out of place on the desk of Steven Seagal’s agent in the 1990s. And it was Rated-R. It had a duel last year with pansy PG-13 competitor White House Down (review here) and tore it a new asshole both in quality and at the box office. Ironically, the movie was made by the same production company that created The Expendables 3, and the fact that it outsold its competitor despite being Rated-R seems to have been lost on them. The chances of London Has Fallen being Rated-R and more of the same are high. It’s one to look forward to, kudos to Gerard Butler for turning down the Point Break remake for it.
Then, like Captain Freedom coming out of retirement in the Running Man, John McTiernan, in the coming weeks actually, will go to work directing Rated-R action thriller Red Squad. Now John McTiernan needs no introduction. He may be the very God of action himself and forged his career in the 1980s. And this is not shit pile money deal for McTiernan. He rejected the script for this movie multiple times, only recently accepting a draft to his liking. There is also talk that this will be Hannibal Classics’ most expensive production ever and that they are banking on it elevating their status into the big leagues. If anyone can do that for them, it’s John McTiernan. What’s it about? In short: Sabotage, but with John McTiernan. Come to think of if, the cast should be announced by Friday.
The Equalizer, the update of the 1980s TV show, is rumoured be very good. Around Christmas, Sony decided to hold a test screening of the movie, which is a solid Rated-R movie. The movie “blew the roof off” and according to Sony, was their most highly rated ‘R’ screening in studio history. We are also weeks away from 22 Jump Street, a sequel to a movie that made a name for itself by shitting on things north of the 1990s. I’m sure there are more, Legend of Conan anyone? Blood Father?
Slim pickings, but there are a few on the horizon. If I’ve missed something, let me know…