Movie Reviews

Jason Statham's Next Action Movie Will Redeem His $50 Million Box Office Bomb


  • Jason Statham is set to redeem past failures with Levon’s Trade, a vigilante justice film featuring an impressive cast.
  • Despite the disappointment of Expend4bles, Statham’s recent successes show his potential for box office hits.
  • The upcoming movie, directed by David Ayer and written by Sylvester Stallone, has the potential to overshadow past failures.



Jason Statham is known for his numerous successful action-movie appearances, but his next project will almost certainly redeem one of the biggest misfires of the star’s career to date. Having featured in dozens of movies since his debut in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Statham has established himself as one of the most bankable stars in the industry – combining impressive physicality with comic chops and an aptitude for over-the-top spectacle. While this reputation is well-earned, one recent failure has underscored the reality that no one is guaranteed success.

Having established himself in early Guy Ritchie projects like Lock, Stock and Snatch, Statham has cemented his Hollywood career and legacy in the action genre. According to data via The Numbers, the 56-year-old has played a leading role in 28 separate movies, accruing nearly $2 billion at the box office. By any metric, this makes Statham one of the most recognizable actors working today. Despite this record of success, however, Statham’s career hasn’t all been plain sailing. While failures have been less common as his career has progressed, one particularly noteworthy bomb still needs addressing.

Levon’s Trade Can Redeem Statham And Stallone’s Expend4bles

Set for release in 2025, Jason Statham’s Levon’s Trade is the perfect way for the superstar to fix the disappointment that was Expend4bles. Based on the popular Chuck Dixon novel of the same name, the movie will tell a story of vigilante justice, with Statham appearing alongside the likes of David Harbour, Michael Peña, and Jason Flemyng. Although Levon’s Trade will not be Statham’s first post-Expen4bles movie, there are specific aspects of the production that make it the perfect vehicle to fix the 2023 flop’s flaws.


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Beyond Statham, the movie is being written by Sylvester Stallone – whose previous collaboration with the actor was in the ill-fated Expend4bles. The fact that the two are reuniting indicates that they both feel they have unfinished business following a disappointing previous outing. Stallone’s presence behind the scenes, rather than on screen, also suggests that Levon’s Trade is delivering on the original planned set-up for Expend4bles, where studio pressure forced Stallone into playing a more active role. Statham’s character’s Black Ops background also has echoes of his Expendables role, creating further parallels between the projects.

Statham And Stallone Need To Fix Expend4bles Legacy

 Statham and Stallone from Expendables 4

Ordinarily, a movie’s poor critical and commercial performance might prompt many actors to cut their losses and move on. However, for both Statham and Stallone, Expend4bles failure was perhaps more personal. The action franchise had been consistently led by the pair since the first film, with Expend4bles designed to represent a formal passing of the torch from Stallone’s Barney Ross to Statham’s Lee Christmas, paving the way for a new generation of genre stars to join the ensemble. Unfortunately, its reception made it much more likely that Expend4bles is the series’ death knell.

Made for a sizable $100 million, the movie made just $51.1 million at the global box office – by far the worst-performing film in the Expendables franchise. To make matters worse, critics slated Expend4bles, with just 14% positive reviews (via Rotten Tomatoes). According to the review aggregators’ critical consensus, “Solid work from Jason Statham and some halfway decent set pieces aren’t enough to make up for Expend4bles’ lackluster action and cheap-looking effects.” Following such disappointment, it’s understandable that neither Statham nor Stallone would want this to be the abiding memory of their collaboration.

Why Levon’s Trade Has Every Chance Of Succeeding

Expendables spinoff Jason Statham character better for Sylvestor Stallone

Despite Expend4bles poor performance, there is every reason for fans to be optimistic about Levon’s Trade‘s critical and commercial chances. Notably, the movie will place Statham front and center, rather than part of an untested ensemble. While The Expendables‘ central gimmick of an expanded cast of impressive action stars has previously proved successful, the inevitable consequence is that Statham himself gets slightly sidelined. As he has consistently proved in action hits like The Transporter, The Mechanic, and The Meg, he is more than capable of leading a project by himself.

A further reason for excitement is that Levon’s Trade‘s behind-the-scenes credentials are just as impressive as the personnel in front of the camera. In addition to Stallone’s writing – arguably one of his biggest strengths – the movie will be directed by David Ayer, who has a history of directing successful action flicks, including End of Watch and the World War Two tank drama Fury. Beyond this, Ayer also has a record working with Statham, having also directed the actor’s 2024 hit, The Beekeeper. All of this suggests that Levon’s Trade can banish the memory of Expend4bles and succeed on its own terms.



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Levon’s Trade Can Continue Statham’s Positive Post-Expendables Trend

There’s no denying that Expend4bles is a major blot on Statham’s recent movie career. While his films haven’t always been critically successful, the project represents one of the biggest box-office disappointments of his career – especially given its substantial budget. However, even though Expend4bles is a real lowlight, Statham has been able to bounce back almost immediately.

Not only were Statham’s multiple other 2023 projects (Operation Fortune, Fast X, and Meg 2: The Trench) either solid commercial or critical performers, mitigating the reputational damage done by Expend4bles, but his immediate follow-up to the flop was the widely praised The Beekeeper. Made on a more modest budget of $40 million, the movie made an impressive $152.7 million at the global box office, while simultaneously securing 71% positive reviews according to Rotten Tomatoes. While improving on Expend4bles was almost inevitable, The Beekeeper exceeded expectations.

Given the historic performance of the ensemble action franchise, it may seem surprising that Jason Statham is actually doing better in individual, original projects.

Given all the other factors that suggest Levon’s Trade can also be a success, it seems likely that the movie can continue Statham’s uptick in fortunes post-Expend4bles. Given the historic performance of the ensemble action franchise, it may seem surprising that Jason Statham is actually doing better in individual, original projects. However, as Expend4bles proved, sometimes it’s better to move beyond established formulas to try and break new ground.

Source: The Numbers, Rotten Tomatoes

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