The Expendables films series is essentially Grumpy Old Action Men. Former bullets and bashing stars of the 80s and 90s were left with nothing to do in their careers until fellow oldie Sylvester Stallone gave them a way to pay for their hip replacements.
As nostalgia, it has a certain appeal. As action cinema, it’s a little bit muck.
But that hasn’t stopped the franchise any, four years on we’re ready for the third outing and the cast has ballooned out yet again with more goodies, more baddies, more oldies and some people who you really won’t miss. We’re looking at you Bruce Willis.
But how old are they really? Is Frasier on the same chronological clock as Sly and Arnie? And who is the youngest member of a cast that should really be measure by cutting an arm off and counting the rings?
The full list, youngest to oldest, beckons to you below the heavily photoshopped picture…
Glen Powell (1989) - 25
Ronda Rousey (1987) – 27
Victor Ortiz (1987) – 27
Kellan Lutz (1985) – 29
Terry Crews (1968) – 45
Jason Statham (1967) – 46
Jet Li (1963) – 51
Wesley Snipes (1962) – 51
Randy Couture (1963) – 51
Antonio Banderas (1960) – 53
Dolph Lundgren (1957) – 56
Mel Gibson (1956) - 58
Kelsey Grammer (1955) – 59
Robert Davi (1953) – 61
Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947) – 66
Sylvester Stallone (1946) – 68
Harrison Ford (1942) - 71
And it’s a bizarre kettle of fish. There isn’t a single person in their 30s in this film and, when you add in the fact that the plot calls for most of the ‘kids’ to be taken hostage by Gibson’s crazy baddie, the youngest joints doing the action stuff below to the still very capable Statham and Crews.
The most popular decade is the 50’s, no real surprise there for these actors who were popular chiefly in the 90s. But what a spread – from the surprisingly youthful looking Banderas to Grammer, who has looked middle aged since Frasier was on the air 20 years ago. There’s just six years between them. 51 is the most popular age, though Jet Li is the youngest by a smidge as he was born in April.
Sly, Arnie and… Davi make up the septuagenarian club – with the two action heroes literally old enough to draw a pension. And kudos to Harrison Ford, still working hard at the age of 71 and looking like a man 10 years younger. He was also willing to step up when Bruce Willis asked for a million a day wage. Your loss McLane.
And leaving out the young folks (because, who likes young people?) the total combined age of the 13 oldies is 736 years of sad cartilage for an average time on the earth of 57.
Action cinema belongs to the middle aged, and older. Curious.
The Expendables 3 is in cinemas from the 14th of August 2014