#2. The Expendables Was a One-Time Genre Novelty
Like a Michael Bay-directed AARP commercial, The Expendables proved that even the most decrepit of action stars are still capable of reading lines like badasses before handing it over to stuntmen in gray wigs and then getting a sandwich.
And so, upon reinvigorating their love of humiliation and killing nameless dupes, both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger got back on the action horse with another very successful Expendables film ... sandwiched between a series of horrendous box office embarrassments.
Lionsgate Films, Summit Entertainment, Open Road Films
Somehow Bad Grandpa wasn't the worst Johnny Knoxville octogenarian-themed movie of 2013.
Aging self-aware action romps have been around since The Shootist -- the successful key being that the star is actually self-aware. If they try to do the exact same action plots they were doing 20 years ago but with a few "I'm too old for this shit!" cracks thrown in, it never works. And while The Expendables 3 will surely explode our wallets, we might be reaching a tipping point: It appears that its promise of being "one last ride" has already been betrayed by talks of a fourth film that will either plug Robert De Niro into the mix or resurrect Jean-Claude Van Damme's villainous character in the form of the always dignified "previously unmentioned twin brother" plot.
Jean-Claude Van Damme
At least they can't be Van Triplets, because Van Damme has dibs on that idea.
There's even been talk of making an action lady spinoff called The ExpendaBelles ... which, OK, does sound rather boss, so long as the names Weaver and Hamilton show up in the credits.
So, What's Next?
"Yes, that's Triplets as in Twins 2. $10 million of the budget is for concept rights from Jean-Claude."
They're not just making action movies; they're essentially remaking their entire careers, which is apparently possible now. The blind denial is so severe that Schwarzenegger is actually changing the Terminator canon so that the T-800's outer flesh actually ages to accommodate fleshy sag -- no doubt resulting in a dystopian futurescape filled with geezers inconspicuously lifting cars.
#1. NOBODY Wants to See '80s Action Movies Remade
The 2000s were a fabled time when '80s horror movies like The Fog, Friday the 13th, and Halloween were inexplicably remade into lukewarm/dead audience disappointments and Hollywood could still say "Wonder what went wrong there?" And while that practice is still very much alive today (they're even rebooting the reboot of Friday the 13th, which we're pretty sure is the plot of Scream 6), for some inexplicable reason Hollywood has moved on to redoing culturally moot '80s sci-fi and action films as well, breathing "new life" into such timeless morals like the dangers of communism.
Or the danger (zone) of not listening to Kenny Loggins.
And, of course, they're bombing even harder. As any statistical anomaly that saw it would tell you, the Red Dawn remake went down worse than a mouthful of deer blood. As did Total Recall, making the most successful of the bunch RoboCop, which pretty much broke even after you take marketing costs into account (unfortunately, they couldn't replicate the marketing campaign for the original RoboCop, which was "THERE'S A MOVIE CALLED ROBOCOP"). It's as if every producer saw the success of G.I. Joe, Transformers, and 21 Jump Street and completely failed to realize that all of those came from '80s television shows that never had live-action film adaptations, and not movies we already knew and loved ...
... movies like Highlander, Romancing the Stone, Scarface, Road House, Escape From New York, Short Circuit, Videodrome, and WarGames, all of which are getting remakes. But hey, at least when 90 percent of those atrocities bomb, the execs (or their replacements) will be forced to acknowledge that this isn't working and finally leave '80s movies back in Blockbuster shelves, where they belong.
So, What's Next?
Kidding! They'll just move on to disturbing the graves of other '80s genres. In fact, it's already started:
The entire movie is just two teens sitting with awkward half-chubs by a 3D printer.
Along with Weird Science, the stack of rehashes includes Overboard, Fletch, Police Academy, Family Vacation, and even The Naked Gun -- all films whose success was completely dependent on extremely particular comedic talent, as opposed to adaptable storylines. Take that element away, and it would be like taking the violence from a Troma film. Could you imagine?