By: John M Jerva
Say what you will about the previous installment of the Expendables franchise, no one can’t say that they didn’t spend money on it. Even with its toned down vibes and PG-13 rating, Expendables 3 certainly went big and loud with the action and theatrics.
Well, get ready for a bigger and badder fourth installment as franchise star Dolph Lundgren has gone on record saying that the fourth entry has twice the budget of the last film. I’ll let that sink in for a hot minute…OK let’s move on.
Lundgren made the statements in an interview with PopCulture. The action icon stated the the budget for number four is “definitely bigger”, with Lundgren saying “the budget is probably at least twice what the last one was, I think.” Now the big takeaway here is that he says “he thinks,” but he was on set so he should know how big of an action pic it is.
Lundgren goes on to elaborate about what makes The Expendables franchise the special films that they are.
To put things in perspective, the last two installments boasted a 100 million or more budget so I’m finding it hard to believe that they doubled it for this one. Especially with the uncertainty after the last one tanked at the box office. I’m thinking the budget for this one was well under 100 mil and I’m feeling it’s going to be a more stripped down entry with smaller scale, down and dirty action scenes with more fisticuffs then the previous films which is fine with me as I’m sure enough shit will get blown up and bones will be broken. Of course I could be wrong as I usually am.
Lundgren went on to say that the other franchises don’t have the high stakes of the old school actioners which The Expendables pays homage too.
It’s important to point out that a bigger budget doesn’t necessarily mean success. In order for this franchise to regain its luster, it’ll have to assert a throwback hard R rated vibe that fans are expecting. While the third film was not short on action, it was watered down in terms of violence which is a distinct no-no in the genre when you have a franchise that is resembling the old school flicks of past. To put it simply, this one better deliver the carnage.
It does bode well that veteran stunt professional and coordinator Scott Waugh is at the helm so hopefully the set pieces will be elevated. Waugh is best known for Act of Valor which was the military action film that featured real life active Navy SEALS. Waugh comes from the traditional action mode and has definitely proven that he can shoot action and especially cinema caliber firefights so I’m on board with his hiring.
Adding Asian powerhouses Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais certainly is a positive note and fans are hoping for some full throttle action sequences. The two action stars’ foray into Western action films have been hit or miss with more of the latter so fans are hoping that they are utilized to the best of their abilities.
Sylvester Stallone is back with Jason Statham, Randy Couture and, of course, Lundgren as the original cast. Sly has passed the torch to Statham and will only be in the film as more of an extended cameo from the looks of it. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle that aspect of the plot as details are still under lock and key. Other new additions include Megan Fox, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Andy Garcia.
Lastly, let me just say that everyone has built this franchise up to be the Holy Grail of action from day one which unfortunately no movie could ever measure up too. Its just a fun bunch of adrenaline fueled films that deliver a wink and a nudge to the genre and where action stars get together and blow shit up.
Expendables 4 is currently in post so hopefully we will get word soon on a potential release date. I think I speak for us all when I say I am literally jonesing for first look footage on this one. Stay tuned…
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