The Expendables: All that's old is new again

Alright, so, from time to time I like to take a break from all this sciencey philosophicalish jibber jabber and write about something a little more lighthearted.

I recently discovered the trailer for Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables, coming out later this year. I don't really know what the plot is. Something about a bunch of mercenaries taking a tough job, and through it all they probably kill a bunch of people and learn some life lesson that brings them closer together. I don't care. Nobody's going to watch this movie for the story. They're watching it because it has Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, and cameos by Bruce Willis and the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Can we really buy these guys as action heroes? Stallone will be 64 years old when this movie hits. It's amazing what some 'roids, tats and hair dye will do for a guy, because he sure as hell doesn't look 64. He looks like someone you don't want to fuck with. But I think these guys can still play the action heroes, as long as they know their roles. They aren't going to do the over-the-top action and stunts they did back in their heyday. They're going to embrace their age and play characters who've been around the block, who are worn and weathered but still tough. Rambo and Rocky Balboa were perfect for Stallone because they did just that. He didn't try to recapture the glory of the 80s films; he played the characters as convincing, aging versions of themselves. I think The Expendables will do the same. Plus, the young(ish) blood doesn't hurt. Apparently Steve Austin and Randy Couture are actors now, and you've got the still sorta-young Jet Li (age 46) and an even younger (and totally badass) Jason Statham (age 37). 

This all seems to be part of a trend of hitting tapping the 80s for ideas at a time when Hollywood doesn't want to take risks and there's a nice aura of nostalgia about 80's movies. We're seeing a new Karate Kid, a new Predator that will possibly win the Oscar for greatest movie ever of all time, and rumor has it's there's a new Ghostbusters in the works. I'm totally fine with that.


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