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Top 10 Expendables Expansions

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 04/08/2010.

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

The ExpendablesWith the imminent release of Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables mere weeks away, one has to only look at the cast to notice that it is a veritable who’s who of testosterone drippers from yesterday and today (mainly yesterday):

The Expendables
Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eric Roberts, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, and Randy Couture.

Now, that’s a heck of a line-up! Stallone has done well in casting this throwback-epic of 80’s action nostalgia, and although it would be impossible to do so, imagine if the budget was expanded to add additional ammo (i.e. more pecs and biceps). Robert Rodriguez’s similarly themed Danny Trejo vehicle Machete picks up a few leftovers, and in turn creates a cast that is of a calibre to be just as bragadocious:

Machete
Danny Trejo, Robert DeNiro, Don Johnson, Steven Seagal, Jeff Fahey, Tom Savini, and Michelle Rodriguez.

Most impressive, though there are still a few names that spring to mind that I feel are left out. Although a couple of these names were indeed linked to this project at one point or another, here is Sorry I’m Late.com’s Top 10 Expendables Expansions:

Honourable Mentions: Bruce Campbell, Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Stormare, Antonio Banderas

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10
Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

Bursting on the scene as Willie Mays Hayes in 1989’s Major League, Snipes made a career throughout the 90’s in a string of fairly successful action/action-comedies, which showcased his martial arts skills as well as his on screen insanity and occasional comic turns. In the past decade, the master of intense method-acting has only had the intermittently decent Blade franchise as his only significant line of work. With all his legal trouble and jail time, nobody knows if he can make a big-screen comeback, all I know is that he has the nicest mug-shot ever taken…

Snipes Mug Shot

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9
Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers

In the 80’s, Weathers’ screen presence and charisma was so undeniable that he assertively held his own on-screen opposite the likes of Stallone (Rocky) and Schwarzenegger (Predator) without looking the chump. But then his major solo outing Action Jackson, the film that was set to send him to super-stardom, was flop supreme. Since then he has trailed off into self-mocking comedic roles such as Happy Gilmore and Arrested Development. Let’s see if the man can still kick ass – does he still have the guns, or has he been “pushing too many pencils”?

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8
Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell

Russell was the Disney-spawned child star that became an action icon due to his defining role as Snake Plisskin – the baddest of ass – in frequent collaborator John Carpenter’s Escape from New York. A successful string of films in the 80’s followed until his career ironically fizzled out around the same time as Plisskin’s second outing in Carpenter’s dud sequel Escape from LA. Since then Russell has attempted a Tarantino fuelled comeback in 2007’s Death Proof – but that amounted to squat. Apparently Stallone offered a role in The Expendables to Russell, who declined because he “doesn’t do ensembles”. He remains unemployed.

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7
Ron Perlman

Ron Perlman

Although classically trained, Ron Perlman has the imposing physical presence and giant face of an action star – which is actually a shame to think that most shall never see his true acting potential. Don’t cry for Ron though, as he has forged a long and eclectic career, including Hellboy and TV’s version of Beauty and the Beast; the guy loves being under make-up.

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Malcolm McDowell / Terence Stamp

Malcolm McDowell/Terence Stamp

The customary ‘old-guy’ role:  both Terrance Stamp and Malcolm McDowell have had distinguished acting careers, and they hold certain on-screen presence that makes you believe that they could be the puppet-master’s behind the toughest men of all time. They both have that aura in which you can believably see either of them verbally berating one of these listed ‘tough guys’ and watch them take it.

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5
Robin Shou / Tony Jaa

Robin Shou/Tony Jaa

The Expendables already includes Jet Li, but who said you can’t have more than one token Asian martial-artist in your films? Sifting through the abundance of karate-chopper’s and fly-kicker’s blazing a trail through Hollywood and Hong Kong, I have settled on a tie between the incredible Tony Jaa of Ong Bak fame, and Robin Shou: Mortal Kombat’s Liu Kang.

Although appearing in a handful of films – Ong Bak and its sequels representing three of those – Tony Jaa has made a name of himself by the incredible athletic feats he can achieve – mind boggling stunts with zero input from CG effects. He is truly a phenom.

Robin Shou was in Mortal Kombat, and also had a similar – albeit comedic – role alongside Chris Farley in Beverly Hills Ninja. He’s really old now, but I’ll admit that for some odd reason I have a soft spot for him and hope to see him in something decent (Street Fighter: the Legend of Chun-Li does not qualify as something decent).

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4
Jean-Claude Van Damme

Van Damme

The Muscles from Brussels is a very surprising absentee from the official Expendables line-up, but it has become known that he in fact turned a role down. Why? I think only the man himself can hilariously explain it best:

EDIT: The previously embedded Van Damme interview is no longer; please enjoy this video of Van Damme getting down in Breakin’ as compensation:

Van Damme is worried about character now? Well, I’m sure he can find another role where he can make some money, fight some guys and boom, boom, boom…

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3
Keith David

Keith David

Before he was the guy who wondered how you could get the bean above the frank in There’s Something about Mary, Keith David was the guy that fought Rowdy Roddy Piper for five minutes in an alley in John Carpenter’s They Live. Since then he has made a respectable career in action films such as ArmageddonRoad House, and Pitch Black. Like a lot of actors in this list, David has substantial acting credentials, including stints on Broadway and appearances in critically acclaimed Indies (Requiem for a Dream). And he’s intense as Hell…

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2
Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White

Holding a multitude of martial art black-belts, this man legitimately can kick your ass – on camera or off. Don’t be fooled by his anticlimactic demise in The Dark Knight, the Spawn actor has the look, the strength and the real-life credentials to make it as an action superstar – he just needs his breakout superstar role. He’s in his early 40’s, so the clock is ticking…

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1
Michael Ironside

Michael Ironside

Now we’re talking – my ultimate fan-boy favourite, cult hero Michael Ironside. He is prominent for playing the toughest characters imaginable, whether they dabble on the sides of good or evil (evil being the most common). On film, he has barked orders at Christian Bale, pursued Schwarzenegger to Mars, and led a campaign against the Bugs on planet Klendathu. Possessing the most stoic glare known to man, Ironside’s bald head could win a three-way brawl between itself, Chuck Norris’ beard and Tom Selleck’s moustache; that’s how dangerous he is.

Another reason why he kicks ass? By my count, he has lost his arms in at least four movies: Total Recall, Starship TroopersHighlander 2 and The Machinist. And he never complained; not once. Because he is as tough as nails.

Also, he starred in a 1991 movie called – believe it or not – McBain, co-starring with Christopher Walken…

Shit! Is it too late to include Christopher Walken in the list?!

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