Expendables 4’s Huge Budget Tease Misses What Makes The Movies


Expandables 4 having a bigger budget than the previous entries can cause more harm than good for a franchise designed to celebrate ’80s action films.

Dolph Lundgren has teased that The Expendables 4 will have a budget “twice as big” as The Expendables 3, but that might not be as good news as it sounds. Eight years after the third entry in the franchise seemed to have put an end to the Sylvester Stallone-led saga, The Expendables 4 is expected to hit theaters in 2022. Scott Waugh will direct the sequel that promises to gather most of the cast from the previous films.

After initiating in 2010 with The Expendables, the film series starring some of the biggest action stars in Hollywood had its best financial result with The Expendables 2 in 2012. Two years later, however, The Expendables 3 would only make $214.7 million on a budget of $100 million and would put the franchise’s future in check. Even so, Barney Ross’ team is getting back together for another mission.


Related: Every Expendables Character Who Was Supposed To Die (& Why They Were Spared)

The seemly exciting fact that The Expendables 4 will have a bigger budget runs the risk of hurting the very essence of what made the franchise, as well as the careers of everyone involved, what they are. The Expendables was a way for Sylvester Stallone to bring his friends and colleagues together in a film that would celebrate not only their careers but also a movie genre that has now practically ceased to exist. Action films without much spectacle or gimmicks focused only on the fight scenes of their main star have marked the trajectories of names such as Stallone, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger. Van Dame. What all of those films had in common was that they were not too expensive to make. The cheapness, almost leaning into a B-movie territory aspect of movies such as Stallone’s Cobra and Schwarzenegger‘s Commando was part of the magic of the genre, and they can be lost in the middle of a big production.

Sylvester Stallone Jason Statham and Antonio Banderas in The Expendables 3

There are a plethora of big-budget action movies in Hollywood today. In addition to the numerous superhero blockbusters that some prefer to classify in their own category, films such as the ones in the Fast & Furious franchise, Hobbs & Shawn, and the recently released Red Notice are just a few examples of successful titles whose productions had huge sets, locations all over the world and cutting-edge CGI. It’s obvious that a bigger budget tends to raise the overall quality of a film, but it can also end up causing the pure and simple mission of entertaining to be lost. More than anything, The Expendables 4 being made along the lines of more recent big-budget films can misread the franchise’s fourth entry to the point where it doesn’t feel like a sequel to the B-movie celebration that was the first three films.

There’s also the problem of financial stakes for The Expendables 4. If the movie doesn’t live up to the box office expectations, a larger-than-usual budget could turn the production into a huge loss. Unlike what happened with The Expendables 3, this type of financial failure could seal the end of the franchise once and for all.

The Expendables 4 needs to bring something new to the table, but simply increasing the budget will not do the trick. The director and writers need to be aware not to let the possibilities that a bigger budget offer get in the way of the distinctive tone so well known to the franchise and the careers of Sylvester Stallone and his friends. If The Expendables‘ identity can be balanced with an increase in budget, then The Expendables 4 could be the best in the series so far.

Next: John Wick 4 vs. Expendables 4: Which Upcoming Action Movie Will Be Better?

  • The Expendables 4 (2022)Release date: Jun 05, 2022

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Marcelo Leite is a senior writer for Screen Rant with years of experience in creative and academic writing. Although his chosen field was structure engineering, there is nothing he likes better than writing about the things he loves.

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