The Expendables 2: my handpicked cast

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This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 17th May 2011.

Action flick The Expendables (2010) was a major hit, grossing US$266 million from an US$80 million budget. Under the direction of Sylvester Stallone, the film brought together a dream team of eighties and nineties action stars, many of whom had never appeared on screen together before, such as Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rouke, Dolph Lungren and Arnold Schwartzenegger. With little plot but many explosions, the film itself was a bit of a letdown for action movie fans but the box office dollars have ensured that a sequel is in the works and set for release in 2012.

With the majority of the original cast returning for more mayhem, there is speculation about who else might be joining the lineup. Here are my suggestions for The Expendables 2.

Sammo Hung has enjoyed a lengthy career in Asia, starring, directing, producing and fight choreographing many films throughout the seventies until now. His biggest successes have been kung fu action comedies that have capitalized on his rather portly frame, such as Enter the Fat Dragon (1979) and Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon (1990). In Australia, he is best known for his TV series Martial Law, which ran for 2 seasons between 1998 and 2000. Reportedly, Hung had very poor English at the time and was taught his lines phonetically. In other scenes, he said nothing at all. With a similar command of the English language as Sylvester Stallone, Hung would be perfect for The Expendables.

Cynthia Rothrock burst onto the B grade action flick scene in the eighties and has appeared in over thirty films including No Retreat, No Surrender (1986) and China O’Brien (1988). A five time World Karate Champion, Rothrock was a rarity in that as a Caucasian actress (and I use that term loosely) she became a star in Asia well before gaining any fame Stateside. Rothrock would add some much needed butt kicking estrogen to a mega macho cast.

Apparently Chuck Norris’ computer doesn’t have a “Ctrl” key because he is always in total control. Norris began his career opposite Bruce Lee in Way of the Dragon (1972) and went on to star in many brain numbing but fun eighties action films such as Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), Missing in Action (1984) and The Delta Force (1986). His TV series Walker, Texas Ranger ran from 1993 to 2001. As Cordell Walker, Norris played a half white, half Native American Ranger who delivers justice with his unique blend of the old west and eastern martial arts. As you do. Norris could easily portray the facial hair specialist in The Expendables.

If you are after an aftershave that will bring out the washed up eighties action star in you, why not consider Steven Seagal’s Scent of Action? For the energy drink fans there is also Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt. Did I mention that he also has a range of homeopathic oils? Seagal is currently a Reserve Deputy Chief of the Sheriff’s Officer in Louisiana. Hopefully he will track down and arrest some criminals, namely those responsible for his recent slew of terrible direct to DVD movies. Seagal could also provide the soundtrack to The Expendables 2, having two albums to his name, one of which featured a duet with Stevie Wonder. Obviously Wonder agreed to work with him because he’s never seen one of his movies (boom boom).

The Expendables 2 is sure to be a major hit. And with Sylvester Stallone confirming that he won’t be directing, it is also sure to be watchable too. With a bevy of faded, bloated aging action heroes likely to be pulled out of mothballs for each subsequent sequel, perhaps this testosterone laden series should be renamed The Expandables.

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