Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sly and the Guys: The Expendables

A new action-packed sequel is out.  It is The Expendables 3 with a cast of AARP cardholders headed by Sylvester Stallone.  Sly, an action movie hero when MTV was young and still played music videos, is back in action movie duty with other former action movie heroes from his heyday.  Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren and Mel Gibson round out the cast.
Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jet Li joined Sly for The Expendables 2.  Younger action movie star, Jason Statham, has starred in all three since the first installment came out in 2010.

My question is this:  Where are the female action stars who were in big box office hits?

Not that I've seen any feature of this Stallone-generated trilogy but it seems like there's predominantly one sex in The Expendables crew.  Where is Linda Hamilton who co-starred in The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day?  Her Sarah Connor was one tough mother -- a woman armed to protect her son.  She evolved from scared waitress to serious warrior in those movies.

And where is my favorite action movie star from the late 1970s and 1980s -- Sigourney Weaver?  Armed with a quick brain, combat skills and fierce loyalty to her crew, she fought one of the most frightening space creatures ever in the hit movie Alien.  She fought even more and bigger evil in Aliens, the 1986 box office blockbuster sequel that was just as good -- if not better -- than the groundbreaking original film.  The sci-fi action movie sequel earned Weaver an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.  Her Ellen Ripley character, like Sarah Connor, charges bravely into action fueled by her maternal spirit.  Ripley's maternal spirt is illuminated by a tough little survivor called Newt.

Come on, now.  I paid to see Aliens more than once and sat in packed New York City movie theaters for each viewing.  Every time Ripley gets in that loader, rescues Newt and battles the alien queen by saying "Get away from her, you bitch!," the audience broke out into wild applause and cheers.
Were Ms. Weaver and Ms. Hamilton even asked to appear in these Old Boys Club action movies?

Perhaps it's just as well that Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton are not in this new Stallone feature.  The reviews haven't been that good.  I heard noted film critic Henry Sheehan on KPCC Radio in Southern California declare "This movie stinks."                                                                                                          
But, nowadays, bad reviews don't keep a mediocre movie from opening quite well at the box office.  Last weekend's unenthusiastic reviews for Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles did not keep it from making $65 million and landing in the Number One box office spot.  Let's see how moviegoers take to The Expendables 3 this weekend.

Maybe I can see Sly and the Guys in their next sequel, The Expendables 4:  Cialis in Wonderland.


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