Yes, we’ll be dusting off our “25 Manliest Movies Ever Made” gallery come August when Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables hits theaters. Watch the trailer — complete with Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mickey Rourke — and I guarantee, if you don’t already have a set, you’ll grow a pair. It begins with what I assume is a purposefully ’80s dramatic voiceover, letting us know that we can expect some classic action-Stallone dialogue and humor — and I say that with great affection as someone who applauded at the end of Rambo. Stallone’s mercenary, Barney Ross, leads a tight-knit team. I’ll let the Lionsgate summary introduce them to you:
• Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), former SAS and a savant with anything that has a blade
• Yin Yang (Jet Li), a master at close-quarter combat
• Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), who has known Barney for 10 years and is a long-barrel weapons specialist
• Toll Road (Randy Couture), a skilled demolitions expert and considered the intellect of the group
• Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), a combat veteran and an expert in precision sniping who struggles with his own demons
They think they’ve been hired to overthrow an evil dictator, General Gaza (David Zayas), but on a reconnaissance mission to the small island country of Vilena, Barney and Christmas learn their real enemy is a rogue ex-CIA operative James Monroe (Eric Roberts) and his henchman Paine (Steve Austin). They’re forced to leave their naturally female contact, Sandra (Giselle Itie) behind, and Barney convinces his team to go in after her. It looks like Stallone then strikes a nice balance of balls-to-the-wall retro and contemporary action. What do you think?