Expendable action stars (or not)?

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Like one of the universe's many mysteries, the reason why a sequel to "The Expendables" was made remains just that: a mystery. It would be much more fruitful to direct our attention to the stars that make up the entire movie and their expendability, because the more weaknesses that we can find, the higher the chances are that there would be a significant recast for the possible third movie, mayhap with Clint Eastwood as a sarcastic old man who totes shotguns and has a penchant for wearing cowboy hats or Javier Bardem as a bipolar mercenary who is prone to violent bursts of temper and stabs or shoots anyone who has the unfortunate luck to be standing nearby.

Sylvester Stallone (Barney Ross)

If there was any question about the badassery of Sylvester Stallone, the fact that is it listed in his Wikipedia entry that the American actor and director is an occasional painter should put those doubts to rest. Then again, it is a whole other story to be called Picasso, which this action star is nothing like; hence he is better known for wielding his fists, as seen through the 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen titled "Rocky", as well as various weaponry as seen in the "Rambo" film series. While his machismo roles bear similarities to each one another, his portrayal of the boxer Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, makes for much better film material compared to Rambo, a troubled Vietnam War veteran and former Green Beret whose body count keeps rising with each instalment. "Rocky" was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay nominations for Stallone, and went on to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing.

Expendability: No

Jason Statham (Lee Christmas)

If Jason Statham did not turn out to be who he is today, we might be seeing him as one of the divers in the Olympics today. This former diver and English actor is known for his roles in Guy Ritchie's crime films "Revolver", "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". However, few have actually watched these films, despite the first being critically panned by critics while the other two turned out to be cult and critical successes. As it was, Statham ended up being better known for his role in Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen's subpar 2002 French action film "The Transporter". Statham stars as Frank Martin, a mercenary "transporter" who will deliver anything, anywhere – no questions asked – for the right price. Of course, Frank just had to break his own rule to never open the package he is delivering, leading him to discover that his package is actually a woman named Lai Kwai (Shu Qi), and shenanigans ensues.

Expendability: No

Jet Li (Yin Yang)

Without a doubt, this Chinese martial artist and wushu champion is not expendable, despite his jarring accent in English-language films only rivalled by fellow Chinese and martial artist, Jackie Chan. His debut film, "The Shaolin Temple" is a 1982 Hong Kong martial arts film that spawned a revival of popularity in mainstream martial arts in China, but Li is best known for his turn as the folk hero Wong Fei-hung in the critically acclaimed martial arts epic "Once Upon A Time In China" series. Directed, written, and produced by Tsui Hark, the films deal with the negative effects of Western imperialism in China during the late Qing Dynasty, which Wong Fei-hung helps to address.

Expendability: No

Dolph Lundgren (Gunner Jensen)

Unlike most of the cast, Swedish actor, director, and martial artist Dolph Lundgren rose to fame playing supporting roles as the villains in film. His best known role is playing the imposing Russian boxer Ivan Drago, which gave him the breakthrough he needed to keep on playing villains, such as Andrew Scott in "Universal Soldier" (1992), opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme and the assassin Karl Honig in "Johnny Mnemonic" (1995) opposite Keanu Reeves, although he was occasionally on the good side such as in "Showdown In Little Tokyo" (1991), alongside Brandon Lee. Despite his numerous efforts, Lundgren lacks the screen presence needed to pull audiences in to watch his films, which was why a good number of his films went unnoticed unless they also star other well-known actors or actresses.

Expendability: Yes

Chuck Norris (Booker)

It is almost unthinkable that any fan of action films would not know of Chuck Norris, considering that even non-action fans would have heard of Chuck Norris through Internet memes, a phenomenon that began in 2005, ascribing various implausible or even impossible feats to Norris. It is little wonder that there would be "Chuck Norris facts", as the American martial artist and actor even served in the United States Air Force and founded his own school of martial arts known as Chun Kuk Do. In addition, the actor is best known for starring opposite the late martial arts legend himself, Bruce Lee, in Lee's 1972 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film "Way Of The Dragon". There, Norris played a Karate fighter named Colt who provided Lee's character with the final showdown.

Expendability: Definite no

Jean-Claude Van Damme (Jean Vilain)

The career of Jean-Claude Van Damme is a rollercoaster ride. Most will know Van Damme from "Bloodsport" (1988) playing Frank Dux, a man trained from his youth in the ways of Ninjutsu by a Japanese master of the art, Senzo Tanaka, where he goes on to participate in Kumite, an illegal and underground, freestyle, single-elimination and occasionally deadly full-contact martial arts tournament to which the world's best martial artists are clandestinely invited every five years. While he has made a name for himself playing roles in films such as "Bloodsport", and like films such as "Kickboxer" (1989), Universal Soldier (1992), "Timecop" (1994) and "Sudden Death" (1995), almost all of them were negatively received by critics; hence it is nothing to shout about. Luckily for Van Damme, his big break came when this pattern of ups and downs was noticed by director Mabrouk El Mechri, which prompted Mabrouk El Mechri to write and direct the 2008 Belgian crime comedy-drama film "JCVD", which has Van Damme play a semi fictionalized version of himself, a down and out action star whose family and career are crumbling around him as he is caught in the middle of a post office heist in his hometown of Brussels, Belgium.

Expendability: Yes

Bruce Willis (Mr. Church)

Arguably, Bruce Willis is the actor who made being bald seemed badass. Unquestionably, Willis is best known for the role of John McClanem, an NYPD Detective who takes on highly organized criminals, terrorists and kidnappers in the "Die Hard" series, which were mostly critical and uniformly financial successes. Willis is also a strong believer of quantity makes quality, having appeared in over sixty films, alternating between good and bad ones. Some of the box office successes includes "Pulp Fiction" (1994), "12 Monkeys" (1995), "The Fifth Element" (1997), "Armageddon" (1998), "The Sixth Sense" (1999), "Unbreakable" (2000), "Sin City" (2005) and "Red" (2010) while the more cringe-worthy ones are "The Whole Nine Yards" (2000), "Hostage" (2005) and "Perfect Stranger" (2007).

Expendability: No

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Trench)

The Governor among Hollywood action film stars, or, more appropriately, the 'Governor' of Hollywood action film stars, Austrian American former professional bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's presence is not to be joked about, regardless of his cheesy name, which probably led to a rise in Google searches due to the difficulty of spelling it out. Schwarzenegger is known for his role as the titular character in the 1982 film "Conan The Barbarian" and its sequel, "Conan The Destroyer", but he is better known as The Terminator in Oscar winner James Cameron's "The Terminator" in 1984. Schwarzenegger started off playing the Terminator, a cyborg assassin sent back in time from the year 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, played by actress Linda Hamilton, in order to stop her from giving birth to John Connor, who will rally the survivors and lead a resistance movement against Skynet and its army of machines in the future. Following the success of Schwarzenegger's portrayal of the cyborg despite only having a few lines of dialog, a sequel was made, titled "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", which also saw positive reception from critics.

Expendability: No

Terry Crews (Hale Caesar)

In Terry Crews we have a former player in the National Football League turned actor after retiring from the NFL in 1997. He is perhaps best known for his role as family patriarch Julius on the UPN/CW sitcom "Everybody Hates Chris". Currently, he stars in the HBO American drama television series created and primarily written by Aaron Sorkin of "The Social Network" (2010) and "Moneyball" (2011) fame. In films, Crews is best remembered as Latrell Spencer, the basketball player in Keenen Ivory Wayans' 2004 American buddy cop film "White Chicks, who falls for Marlon Wayans' character in disguise as a woman, a memory that most actors would probably want to bury.

Expendability: Yes

Randy Couture (Toll Road)

An actor who was once a mixed martial artist, Randy Couture may have had an impressive record as a multi-winning UFC Heavyweight Champion, however, in film, his record is less than impressionable. Mostly appearing in television series as disposable characters or in feature films as disposable villains, it is almost lamentable that Couture's best known role is the film that this feature is based on, "The Expendables".

Expendability: Yes

Liam Hemsworth (Billy the Kid)

In a really strange turn of events, director Simon West decided to bring in relatively newcomer Liam Hemsworth to join the cast of veterans action heroes. Although his acting skills are of little consequence to the film, his ability to kick ass is still called into question, having only starred in mostly romance and thriller films. One of these films happens to be how he met his fiancé Miley Cyrus, where they both play the leads, which should say something about his inability to kick ass if he is so easily enraptured by Hannah Montana, but in an ironic twist of fate, "The Last Song" saw limited release in theatres, prompting moviegoers to know instead for his limited role in "The Hunger Games" as Gale Hawthorne, a strong supporter of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), and her closest friend in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future in the nation of Panem, where 12 boys and 12 girls must participate in the Hunger Games – a televised annual event in which the "tributes" are required to fight to the death until there is one remaining victor.

Expendability: Yes

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