Whether you love or hate (or something in between) the Expendables franchise, there's one thing we should all be able to agree on: the best part of these movies is getting to see iconic macho screen heroes of the 1980s and '90s - accompanied by some tough folk who've risen to fame in the 21st century - share the screen together and obliterate seas of baddies with a wave of bullets, explosions, and stabbing knives.
In short, the Expendables films celebrate everything that was wonderful - and everything that was terrible - about cherished vintage action cinema, with a wink that lets everyone know that the series and its seasoned cast are in on the joke (too much so perhaps, for some moviegoers' tastes).
We'll have to wait and see how good The Expendables 3 is at that act this summer, though director Patrick Hughes (Red Hill) has already found additional employment working in the action genre. That may signal that he's better at the macho-cheese game (e.g. filming close-quarter fights and blowing up sets) than his predecessors on this franchise - or those directors behind other recent throwback features, like Escape Plan and Bullet to the Head.
In the meantime, we've have 16 - count 'em, 16 - characters posters for Expendables 3, collected together here from their debuts over at Collider, Coming Soon, IGN, and JoBlo. They include all the returning players from previous installments - Sylvester Stallone (who also's the franchise co-writer), Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, and so forth - in addition the new additions, both young and old(er) alike.
Fresher-faced types Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules), MMA champion/Olympian fighter Rounda Rousey, Welterweight boxing champ Victor Ortiz, and Glen Powell (The Dark Knight Rises) have each received their own Expendables 3 poster here, along with the veteran action movie stars - Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford and Antonio Banderas - who have only just boarded Stallone's bandwagon. The former are playing a young tech-savvy team who work with the old dog Expendables members, while the latter group will portray various allies who Sly and Co. encounter on their latest mission.
Meanwhile, Kelsey Grammer - who's also joining Michael Bay's Transformers franchise this summer for Transformers: Age of Extinction - is an militaristic figure who lends the Expendables a helping hand (gotta love Grammer's hat...), even as Mel Gibson plays the central villain of the film: the co-founder of the Expendables, who's got an old score to settle with his pal Barney Ross (Stallone). Fingers crossed, Gibson will get more screen time here to chew the scenery than he did as the baddie in Machete Kills last year.
The Expendables 3 opens in U.S. theaters on August 15th, 2014.