There are a couple of reasons why the Expendables work so well. Firstly Stallone hasn't messed with a tried and tested formula. Where as other films have attempted to get a message across, or some sort of metaphor (I'm looking at Die Hard 4), Stallone shrugs his shoulders and remembers the halycon days of action blockbusters.
He used the same formula with his recent attempts at Rocky, and Rambo. They were relatively successful when compared with other re-imagined blockbusters because they didn't mess with something that worked. Rocky hits things, Rambo kills things, job done.
So Expendables does what it should, there's explosions, a ridiculous amount of shooting, wonky eyed bad guys (they couldn't hit a barn door), buddy moments, and the odd bit of skirt. None of this is encumbered by something as trivial as a plot.
It also taps into the current trend of reliving the 80's. From fashion to wanky hipsters we are looking back to this decade and the Expendables unites all of those glorious stars in one complete package. Great for dads who saw the stars the first time round, great for their kids who watched it on VHS (I was one), great for those that missed the boat, and self referential and ironic enough for the wanky hipsters to enjoy.
However, whilst the second film did a great job of expanding the list of stars to include Chuck 'The' Norris, and 'The Melgium from Belgium' JCVD, it does have some glaring omissions-
As featured in my last post. Wesley starred with Stallone in Demolition Man, and has shown of his 'actioner' chops in a fair few films.
He's not quite muscle-bound enough to be a good guy, so would have to settle with a bad guy role or cameo.
He may have also missed the cut because he is banged up for massive tax evasion.
The fat man's action hero, Kurt has ploughed his own furrow by ignoring the need to inflate his physique with anabolic steroids.
Instead he relied on razor sharp wit and good facial hair in films such as Escape from New York, and Big Trouble in Little China.
He played Cash in Tango & Cash with Stallone and so deserves a shot at the Expendables.
He is, however, proper fat now. So he'd have to make do with a behind the desk role and some witty banter.
Or Apollo Creed to you and me. During his time this ex-pro American Footballer has starred with both Stallone and Schwarzenegger in Rocky (I-IV) and Predator respectively.
He doesn't carry the physique anymore to go to town with the boys, but showed in various Adam Sandler projects that he can still throw in some humour.
Just in case you wondered, he isn't dead, Wikipedia told me so.
Now in fairness Mel hasn't appeared in the same films as many of the Expendables, but he has proven to be perfectly good at the 80's action film, and gratuitous violence.
He did star with Kurt Russell in Tequila Sunrise, so there's a tenuous link. Also it would be nice to see him going off on screen, as opposed to real life.
The downside is, of course, that he now appears to be mad as a brush.
Jesse "the body" Ventura-
"Bunch of slack jawed faggots around here. This stuff will make you a goddam sexual tyrannosaurus, just like me."- Blain, Predator. I think this says plenty about the type of man Ventura portrayed on screen.
After a glittering career in wrestling, Jesse turned his hand to acting starring with Arnie, not once, but twice, in Predator and Running Man respectively. He also had a cameo in Demolition Man.
Unfortunately he has let himself go a little. He also started to dabble in politics and revealed to the world that he is also a little bit hatstand.
What me to stop writing this rubbish? Write something so I don't have to here.