Sequel and Sequel’s Sequel often have trouble separating themselves from their siblings from time to time. But The Expendables 4 (or The Expendables, based on a rental-based action series, is marketing the previously used material as fresh for recycling in this fourth and final entry, taking a shameless “loan” from Moby Dick for its climactic showdown with the over-the-top villain, Jason Statham,
The Expendables 4 Review
Meg 2: The Trench, where he faces off against a rampaging British invasion – and emerges victorious once again – a sea monster that makes Moby Dick look like a petting zoo animal. It’s really an audacious “rescue” that’s impossible to ignore if you’ve seen Meg 2, as the perpetually rugged former action hero once again assumes his role as the master of the seven seas.
Through the initial draw, perhaps inevitably, is lacking, but it’s not disagreeable when you consider the company involved. Familiar and, let’s face it, old faces are welcomed back and reintroduced like they’re entering a giant time-travel-themed barroom, where the normally good-natured roughhousing has aged as gracefully as the group of friends who spent nearly two decades together in the Old West.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a die-hard fan of these individuals or not; seeing this old gang together in such numbers is both familiar and comforting. You know that there are some skeletons hidden in the corners, but after so many years, everyone is quite savvy about things and ready for some fun.
And you do get some fun – about as much as you’d expect in a class reunion where almost everyone is way past the half-century mark. But in a time when 70 is the new 50, especially in the realm of movie stars, they all stand remarkably fast and fit compared to previous generations.
The Expendables 4 Trailer
Surely, they can lament or joke about aging, but these film stars, who are somewhat out of time, still deliver performances that defy their reality, thanks to the script allowing them to do so. Interactions between the various characters are quite entertaining in small doses. Where will you find Jason Statham contemplating a job change in a job ad?
But there are some serious notes to consider: Did Statham remember to trim his stubble this morning? Will you believe that his ship headed towards the China Sea is armed with nuclear bombs? Or is there really a giant sea creature that swims just like in Meg 2, which means it can eat anything and everything with its enormous teeth? Could there really be two Meg 2s?
So after a whirlwind journey around the world, Statham and a giant fish are fighting in a way that looks just like the last time they fought in Meg 2. Except we’ve seen it just a month ago. Couldn’t the writers come up with something new? Perhaps their intention was to fix it, but then the writers went on strike, and they couldn’t work on it anymore.
Despite the unexpected entertainment provided by various famous stars coming in at different times, The Expendables 4 suffers from a lack of better ways to utilize their talents or the charisma of several actors who showed up for one or two films each. For different periods. But one thing is for sure: we definitely don’t need a Meg 3. Get busy with something else.
Title: The Expendables 4 Release date: September 22, 2023
Director: Scott Waugh
Screenwriter: Kurt Wimmer & Tad Daggerhart and Max Adams
Cast: Jason Statham, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Randy Couture, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, Andy Garcia, Sylvester Stallone
Running time: 1 hr 43 min