Looking at the average age of contemporary action stars, it would seem being a senior citizen today is very different than it used to be. This year, some of our favorite actors prove that being old doesn’t just mean sitting on your porch and yelling at kids to stay off your lawn.
‘The Expendables 3’
After the success of the last two guilty pleasures, it’s no surprise that Sylvester Stallone will complete the franchise with one final entry. Or so it would seem. Nonetheless, I like the preview, particularly the opening with the whistled theme from ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’. It promises to be a self-aware but very much exciting action ride. I like that Schwarzenegger’s role has been expanded, and the inclusion of Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Harrison Ford and Kelsey Grammer makes the whole thing look like tons of fun. Plus, with Mel Gibson, who in my eyes is back in great form and slowly redeeming himself, as the next evil villain, the movie easily tempts me to see it in theaters.
‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’
What I really like about this trailer is the very slow, slightly gloomier version of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” It somehow complements the dark theme and subject matter of this adaptation to Lawrence Block’s best-selling crime novel, which is actually the tenth book in the P.I. Matt Scudder mystery series. As for the movie, it looks like it will definitely satisfy. Liam Neeson stars as a recovering alcoholic and former NYPD cop who tries to find personal redemption for a past mistake. What really has me itching to see this is that the film was written and directed by Scott Frank, the same writer who did ‘Out of Sight’, ‘Minority Report’, ‘Get Shorty’, ‘The Wolverine’ and ‘The Lookout’. I think that’s pretty impressive and leaves me hoping for the best.
‘The Equalizer’ (2014)
In the tradition of resurrecting old, sometimes long-forgotten properties comes yet another remake of a TV show that few are likely to remember. From what little I can recall, the show was actually pretty good. Here, Antoine Fuqua directs a still very fit and lively Denzel Washington as the everyman vigilante Robert McCall. Although it’s not clear if this version is meant to be the exact same character from the TV series, who was a former secret agent with a special set of skills, the concept remains faithful: A blue collar man frustrated at seeing people victimized every day takes justice into his own hands. Interestingly, he’s not contacted by people via a newspaper ad. Instead, it seems as if he jumps into action whenever he witnesses a crime nearby. However, for this plot, he avenges the abuse of Chloë Grace Moretz’s character and ends up annoying the wrong people. From the trailer, I will definitely watch this, though mostly likely on Blu-ray.
‘The November Man’
Just for fun, here’s a bonus trailer for an upcoming spy thriller also adapted from another book series. This one’s from writer Bill Granger. Pierce Brosnan once again dons his espionage cap as ex-CIA operative Peter Devereaux, who’s caught in the middle of a cat-and-mouse game involving the U.S. and a newly-elected Russian president. Of most interest is that the film comes from New Zealand director Roger Donaldson, best known for ‘No Way Out’, ‘Species’, ‘Thirteen Days’ and ‘Dante’s Peak’.
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