The Expendables movies are great in theory, but the execution leaves much to be desired. But that’s not going to stop action movies from getting as many badasses in a room at the same time as possible. And a new film called Makeshift Squad just collected a number of the world’s preeminent movie martial artists: Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen, and Angelababy. So, yeah, this is the movie constantly playing in my mind.
Film Combat Syndicate reports that Makeshift Squad is billing itself as the “Asian Expendables,” which is a bit of a misnomer. While those films include some newcomers and current heavyweights, legends comprise the bulk of the cast, and this crew is made up primarily of newer talent.
Tony Jaa has been a global presence since Ong-Bak exploded our collective minds in 2003. His profile has never been bigger thanks to his roles in big Hollywood blockbusters like Furious 7, and he still continues to turn out top-notch bone-breakers like Kill Zone 2.
The other key players, however, are all more on the rise. Iko Uwais’ profile shot way up with The Raid movies, as well as a turn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but he’s a relative newcomer even though he’s becoming a hot commodity.
Though he proved himself capable of carrying a movie in Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, aside from stunts in The Matrix sequels (he’s a protégé of Yuen Woo-ping) and a few others, Tiger Chen is a relatively unknown. Angelababy (also known as Angela Yeung Wing) is largely in the same boat. She’s split her time between Chinese and American productions, showing up in Young Detective Dee, Rise of the Legend, and Fruit Chan’s Kill Time, as well as Independence Day: Resurgence and Hitman: Agent 47.
There aren’t any additional details on Makeshift Squad, but this cast alone is enough to get me to tune in. Until then, however, we’ll have plenty of chances to check out these stars. Tony Jaa teams up with Vin Diesel again for xXx: The Return of Xander Cage next year. Iko Uwais stars in the Mo Brothers’ Headshot, which debuts at the Toronto International Film Festival soon, he’ll show up with Frank Grillo in that ill-advised Skyline sequel, and star opposite Ronda Rousey in Mile 22 for Peter Berg.