With multiple websites this morning picking up on the fact that an Internet campaign is fiercely underway to entice John Woo to direct The Expendables 3, we got to thinking about how awesome an idea this would actually be. Given the fairly middling returns of the first two films, inviting the heralded – and, admittedly, oft-criticised – action director into the fray will, above all else, have interesting results.
Here’s our 7 reasons why John Woo should direct the third Expendables film, which is all-but confirmed, given that the second film is gearing up to gross $300m worldwide in no time at all.
1. “A John Woo Film…”
Few will argue with the fact that the first two Expendables films were directed with a sure anonymity; there was no personality to the direction beyond Sylvester Stallone – who helmed the first film – opting for a relatively generic level of grit, emphasised by headache-inducing “shaky cam”. For The Expendables 2, Simon West was brought on board, a maddeningly inconsistent choice, and his job largely consisting of undoing everything in Sly’s direction that people complained about. The result was a film less of a pain to watch, but it still crucially lacked energy and a real strong, vocal charge at its forefront.
A John Woo film, by comparison, is unequivocally an “event” film of sorts, which one can’t really say about Stallone – who kept his directing credit advertised to a minimum – or the guy who directed Con Air, but also blessed us with cinematic atrocities like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The General’s Daughter. While Woo’s films have hardly all been excellent, the man’s films are something that generate buzz by name alone, and in a business that’s all about box office, that’s a very important thing. If the first two films did solid business without this, the addition of Woo could be box office dynamite.
This article was first posted on September 19, 2012