The Expendables 4 team interview: Guns, thrills, and camaraderie
Films that have no pretensions or reservations about exploring the extent of their wackiness are a breed of their own. The defiantly over-the-top Expendables franchise is the best of that breed. A concentrated dose of Hollywood action stars as its cast, a plot woven around deliciously egregious action set-pieces, and unapologetically cheesy one-liners, any of which could have pulled down the quality of a film but The Expendables has somehow managed to build a successful franchise with the above-mentioned aspects as its very foundation.
Scott Waugh, the director of Expend4bles, seems to be the right man for the job, for he understands and embraces the nature of the franchise. He says, “Expendables is a franchise where you come to have your coke and your popcorn, enjoy yourself. You are looking at thrills, heart and also laughs. That is the triple thread of Expendables and I feel we have been able to establish the fun factor in this movie, when you get to laugh, get to be on the end of your seat, but you also get to be rooting for these characters.
The gang is back again, with Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture leading the pack, the fourth instalment sees newcomers Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy García joining the cast. With such heavy hitters joining the team, the original team might take a backseat. However, Statham reminds us that Stallone, who both directed and starred in the original film, is still the heart and soul of the franchise. He says, Sly is the Expendables, without him I would not be sitting here today. He represents everything about this movie, and without his presence, without his creativity, without his backbone, we are nothing in the Expendables.” The actor also acknowledges that Stallone’s character Barney Ross is noticeably absent in the upcoming film. “In this particular story, he is absent for reasons we don’t talk about, we have to guide ourselves through the ocean without him. There is something about not having him around that doesn’t feel right. So, we are getting through, the story is the story, we are trying to do our best, but the best days are when he is on set,” says Statham.
While Stallone might have lesser involvement in the upcoming film, his original plans for the first Expendables have finally been realised in the fourth film. “I was going to play Terry Crew’s part in The Expendables 1,” reveals 50 Cent. Talking about his role in Expend4bles, he says, “I play Easy Day in Expendables 4, he is an interesting character, he is a marine.” He then lightheartedly shares, “I didn’t come up with the name Easy Day, so if anyone doesn’t like it, it is not my fault, it is someone else’s fault.” The light-heartedness seems to be a connecting thread that binds the cast together, as another newcomer, Megan Fox shares, “Expendables 4 could possibly be called a Christmas story.” The actor is referring to Jason Statham’s character, Lee Christmas. Fox plays Christmas’ ex-girlfriend Gina in the film. Although Gina is a mercenary, according to Fox, Gina is neither just a gun-toting muscle nor just an eye-candy. The actor says, “Gina brings humour to the story, and she brings I think a fresh element to the story. She is not so serious, she’s sarcastic.“
With promises of fun, fresh new faces, and plenty of action, the best summation of what to expect from the upcoming film comes from Jason Statham, who succinctly puts it, “It is all about the comradery, the chemistry.”