The single worst decision in the history of The Expendables franchise is without a doubt the call to water down the third installment in order to secure a PG-13 rating. Completely forgetting that the entire appeal and number one selling point of the entire property was seeing aging action heroes shoot, stab, and generally maim a small army of hired goons, it’s no surprise that it was the weakest of the three by far.
Of course, no marketable franchise is ever left to rot for too long in modern Hollywood, but there was still an air of skepticism and suspicion among the diehards when The Expendables 4 was first announced. Sylvester Stallone hinted at a return to its roots, but during last night’s CinemaCon presentation, the latest outing for Barney Ross and the gang was described as being “more violent as Will Smith at a comedy club”.
Naturally, that was music to the ears of action movie aficionados everywhere, even though the film’s official title has generated some online scorn.
Following in the worrying footsteps of Josh Trank’s disastrous comic book adaptation Fant4stic, and to a lesser extent Wes Craven’s slasher sequel Scre4m, it appears as though Lionsgate are genuinely set to market the explosive return of ass-kicking elder statesman as Expend4bles.
To be fair, it’s actually quite fitting when you think about it given that it has vibes of “old guys trying to remain relevant”, which boils the central conceit of the entire series down to a tee rather nicely. Either way, we can expect things to get bloody.