Jul 30, 2022

Preparing for EX4

In the weeks ahead before watching a highly anticipated movie at the cinema an old tradition of mine is watching the other films of the series (if it's a sequel) and some thematically similar movies at home.

Before another theatrical ROCKY or CREED it would be the first eight ROCKYs/CREEDs and some other boxing movies like GLADIATOR (1992) with Cuba Gooding Jr., James Marshall and Brian Dennehy, or TYSON (1995) with Michael Jai White.

Another RAMBO comes out? The stack of films I watch before are all the other RAMBOs of course, the MISSING IN ACTION trilogy with action icon Chuck Norris, and RED SCORPION (1989) with Dolph Lundgren.

Now we're waiting for the arrival of THE EXPENDABLES 4. So I thought I'd present you the films I'll watch and would recommend before seeing EX4 on the big screen. Maybe there's a film that you haven't got on your list yet.


1. THE WILD GEESE (1977)

I start with a classic. THE WILD GEESE are THE EXPENDABLES of the 70s. Or are THE EXPENDABLES the WILD GEESE of the 2010s? Either way it's a great movie with an awesome cast including Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris and Hardy Kr├╝ger. The story revolves around a group of highly decorated ex-soldiers who team up for an undercover mission in Africa. Great action, fantastic production design, beautifully shot in Africa. A must-see!


2. CODENAME: WILDGEESE (1984)

Not an official sequel to the classic mentioned above (that would be the underwhelming WILD GEESE 2 from 1985) but a European production about a group of mercenaries doing... mercenary stuff.  It's more of a B-movie but it is a lot of fun with cool locations and a pretty good cast including Lewis Collins (from the classic TV series THE PROFESSIONALS), Donald Pleasance, Ernest Borgnine and Klaus Kinski as the crazy villain. 


3. COBRA MISSION (1986)


Here we have another group of ex-soldiers teaming up for some covert mission that goes wrong. What do they do? Shooting their way out of the jungle! And to be honest, that's all I need. It's a pretty good movie with a fairly bleak ending. Definitely worth a watch!

4. MEN OF WAR (1994)

One of Dolph Lundgren's best films this highly overlooked gem offers Dolph Lundgren at his best. Great action, high production values, and a team of mercenaries whose different moral values lead them to... Watch it! Highly recommended!


5. THE DELTA FORCE (1986)

This classic from Cannon Films is 80s action at its best with Chuck at the height of his success. The first half of the movie is a pretty serious thriller about the highjacking of TWA flight 847 by terrorists in 1985. The second half is action, action, and... action!


6. DELTA FORCE 2 (1990)

The sequel to THE DELTA FORCE is less a film involving a team than a Chuck Norris extravaganza. But hey, why do you need a team if you have one Chuck Norris! And Billy Drago is the perfect villain for this! I like it even more than the first!


7. TEARS OF THE SUN (2003)

One of Bruce Willis' best movies tells the story of a US Navy SEAL team trying to rescue an American doctor (played by Monica Bellucci) before the approaching rebels reach her hospital in the jungle. Dramatic, emotional, gripping, intense action. This film has it all! 


Am I missing a movie? Or two? Or three? Of course! 


7./8./9. THE EXPENDABLES Trilogy (2010/2012/2014)


The highlight will be watching EX1, EX2 and EX3. EX2 is my personal favourite but I love 'em all. All for different reasons. 

So fire up those DVD and Blu-ray players, grab a bag of crisps, a cold beer and prepare for our favourite mercenaries blowing things up for the (maybe) final time!