BFFs 4-ever: Expend4bles is now streaming on Showmax

By Gen Terblanche18 June 2024

BFFs 4-ever: Expend4bles is now streaming on Showmax

The Expendables are an elite band of mercenaries who’ve spent a lifetime honing their skills. While others have cashed out for a pension, the only retirement they’ll accept is death. Secretive agencies around the world call in these action grandads and middle-aged mercs when there are no other options and the job has to get done against all odds. And if they die in the course of duty, that’s just part of the deal. 

In the fourth Expendables film some new recruits join Barney’s (Sylvester Stallone, Tulsa King Season 1) regulars – second-in-command Lee Christmas (Jason Statham, The Meg and Meg2) the knife man, buff scientist Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren, King Nerus in Aquaman), and demolition man and close combat specialist Toll Road (former WWE wrestler Randy Couture) – when CIA big dog “Marsh” (Andy Garcia, Father of the Bride) assigns them their most dangerous mission yet in an effort to prevent World War III. They are ex-Marine Easy Day (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who starred with Stallone in Escape Plan: The Extractors), Galan (Jacob Scipio, Carlos in the Nicolas Cage film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent), who’s the son of ex-Expendables member Galago (Antonio Banderas), Christmas’s ex, CIA agent Gina (Megan Fox, Transformers), CIA operative Lash (Levy Tran), and former Expendable-turned-monk Decha (Tony Jaa, Jiu-Jitsu). 

Their enemy? A faceless troublemaker and war profiteer, codename: Ocelot. Evildoer Ocelot, beware, Expendables squad leader Barney is coming for you with a warning: “We are the shadows and the smoke. We are the ghosts that hide in the night.”

With the mission in mind, we turned to the OG Expendables for a little intel.

Stream Expend4bles on Showmax now.

Gunner is the only Expendable that isn’t trying to be tough; he doesn’t really care about that.

Dolph Lundgren

Mission: Best mates

The Expendables on Showmax
Dolph Lundgren as Gunner, Jason Statham as Lee, Curtis Jackson as Easy, Levy Tran as Lash and Jacob Scipio as Galan

Dolph Lundgren shares more than a few biographical details with his character. Dolph also has a masters degree in chemical engineering but instead of being discovered by the military, he was discovered by model-musician-actress Grace Jones while he was preparing to study at MIT on a Fulbright scholarship. He and Sylvester Stallone also go way, way back to his bodybuilding days, even before he played opposite Sylvester in Rocky IV in 1985. 

Dolph calls Gunner “a crazy Scandinavian mercenary who always carries some weird baggage with him. This time, he’s trying to stop drinking, and is hung up on a woman he’s met only on the internet. Gunner is always fun to play.” Holdup, and rewind. Online dating? We’d rather face a nuke!

The Expendables on Showmax

“In EXPEND4BLES, he’s been sober for several months and is doing the AA programme. He’s also dating on the internet and love may be affecting his skills,” Dolph reveals. “There’s always something comedic going on with him, so he’s a bit of a comic relief for the team. Gunner is the only Expendable that isn’t trying to be tough; he doesn’t really care about that. Gunner has more than his share of idiosyncrasies and issues, be it substance abuse or concentration.” 

It’s not just online dating that’s making Gunner feel his age this time round. “It’s caught up with him, so Gunner is sporting spectacles and even has a bifocal scope on his sniper rifle,” says  Dolph offers, “but those things aren’t working out for him so well, so he may have to make some adjustments.”

“You know, what’s interesting about EXPEND4BLES is all the characters are quite colourful and they’re drawn in different ways,” Dolph says. “They’re not perfect. They’re not superheroes, but they are involved in big battles and big action scenes  – and within those action scenes there are a lot of those human moments.” 

Expendables is now on Showmax
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as Easy Day

More than the explosions, the film hinges on those human elements, and especially on the undying camaraderie between the Expendables. 

“We’ve done four of these and the cast is very closely knit, so to speak. So for me to come back and work with Jason, work with Sly, and see Randy and all the new people –  it’s really a blast for sure,” says Dolph. 

Jason Statham agrees. “It’s all about the camaraderie and chemistry. These guys can’t navigate through life, in general; they are only successful when they are together, saving the world. Their individual dysfunction makes them relatable; instead of being indestructible warriors, they feel pain and loss.”

Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross in Expendables 4
Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross

Things might look grim for fans of the franchise, though, when death beckons one of the core Expendables. Sylvester Stallone warns, “We wanted to remind audiences how close they are, in the film’s opening scenes. It also sets the stage for later … It all seems like business as usual for Barney and the team, but as the mission unfolds, and Barney remains in the pilot’s seat of their plane while his men battle the enemy on the ground, everything is about to change.” 

But fear not, Expendables fans. Randy Couture promises that even when it “looks like The Expendables are failing miserably and falling apart … of course, they come together and have each other’s backs – as they always do.”

Stream Expend4bles on Showmax now.