Tagged: The Expendables 2

Jason Statham

Young actors everywhere have the right to be jealous of British hard-man Jason Statham. Film lovers know Statham as one of modern cinema’s leading action heroes, a man who can kick and punch his way through any number of bad guys. He is very much the modern day Bruce Willis or Van Damme.

Statham, however, wasn’t one of those actors who worked away in small roles and built his way up. In his early days, Statham was part of the British National Diving Team (he finished 12th in the World Championship in 1992). He was also a black market salesman before beginning a career as a fashion model.

It was Statham’s modelling career that first made award winning director Guy Ritchie sit up and take notice of him. Ritchie was so impressed with Statham’s work on a French Connection modelling project the he offered him the role of Bacon in his gangster film “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels.” The film was a commercial and critical success and Statham received plenty of praise. So much, in fact, that Ritchie then cast him in his next film “Snatch” alongside Brad Pitt.

From there, Statham appeared in films like “Turn It Up,” “Ghost Of Mars,” “The One” and the remake of “Mean Machine” before earning the role that made him famous – that of action hero Frank Martin in “Transporter” – a role he also followed up in the successful “Transporter 2.” In between the two films he also got to star in other notable films including “The Italian Job,” (as part of a star studded cast) “Collateral” (with Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx) and the underrated “Cellular.” During that time he also voiced characters in the popular video games “Red Fraction” and “Call Of Duty.”

After roles in the under-performing “London,” “Revolver” and “Chaos,” Statham appeared in an uncredited role in “The Pink Panther” before the surprising success of “Crank,” a film that also warranted a sequel in 2009 with “Crank: High Voltage.”

After roles in the less than impressive films like “In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale” and “War,” Statham again found critical success with a role in the crime thriller “The Bank Job.” This was quickly followed by him doing what he does best and playing the action star in the remake of “Death Race” before once again playing Frank Martin for a third time in “Transporter 3.”

It was at this time that the world was left without a doubt that Jason Statham was now considered to be one of the world’s leading action heroes when Sylvester Stallone selected him to be one of the cast members of “The Expendables” – a film that saw all the greatest action heroes of now and the past pushed congregate together. Statham’s character of Lee Christmas also made the cut for “The Expendables 2” and it is strongly rumoured that he will also be in “The Expendables 3,” which is due in cinemas in 2014.

Along with roles in smaller films like “The Mechanic,” “Blitz,” “Killer Elite,” “Safe,” “Parker,” “Redemption” and “Homefront” Statham also found time to voice the character of Tybalt in the family film “Gnomeo & Juliet,” as well as join the cast of one of the hottest franchises going around when he appeared in “Fast & Furious 6.”

With another “Expendables” film and his main role in the forthcoming “Fast & Furious 7,” it seems that Jason Statham is here to stay.

Russell Crowe

Soap television shows. Yes, they quite often have some very tragic story-lines, terribly clichéd dialogue and some woeful acting, but believe or not some of the finest actors going around today got their start in the acting world in those dreaded soaps. Let’s have a look at some actors who have soap operas to thank for launching them.

Russell Crowe: It’s hard to imagine that screen strong man Russell Crowe started his career off in a soap opera. The actor, who hails from New Zealand, may have made a name for himself winning an Oscar for playing the tough Maximus in Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator,” but he started his acting career in an Australia soap opera called “Neighbours.” As a television show, “Neighbours” is often joked about, yet has been the starting ground for many a young celebrity including Dean Geyer, Kylie Minogue and even Guy Pearce. The ‘soft’ opening to his career certainly didn’t hold back Crowe who has become a megastar and has performed in many memorable films including “The Insider” and “A Beautiful Mind,” which also earned him Oscar nominations.

Susan Sarandon: There isn’t much that Susan Sarandon has achieved during her acting career. She has appeared in classic films such as “Thelma & Louise” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” as well as receiving a number of Oscar nominations over the years – for films such as “Atlantic City,” “Lorenzo’s Oil” and “The Client.” She even won an Oscar in 1996 for her role in “Dead Man Walking,” but what most people don’t realise is that five years before she made a name for herself in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” she spent a year playing Patrice Kahlman in television soap “A World Apart.”

Chris Hemsworth: These days, movie fans know Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth mainly as “Thor,” the God with the Hammer that has had two feature films of his own as well as appearing in the big action blockbuster “The Avengers.” The last few years has seen Hemsworth appear in a number of big films including “Rush,” the “Star Trek” franchise, “Red Dawn,” “Snow White + The Huntsman” and “The Cabin In The Woods,” but before that Hemsworth was known to Australians as a soap star. He first made a guest appearance in “Neighbours” before starring in the other ‘rival’ soap “Home & Away” for three years.

Liam Hemsworth: Of course, it wouldn’t be right to mention Chris Hemsworth without mentioning his brother Liam who is known right around the world as the quiet and brooding Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” franchise. Liam also made a name for himself as a soap star in Australia before making his way to Hollywood. In an exact opposite to his brother, Liam started his career with a guest spot in “Home And Away” before landing a semi-regular role in “Neighbours” playing  Josh Taylor. Liam Hemsworth has also made a name for himself in America appearing in “The Expendables 2” and “Paranoia” alongside Harrison Ford.

Josh Duhamel: Many wrongfully believe that modern day big screen star Josh Duhamel got his acting break on television drama “Las Vegas,” where he played intelligent detective Danny McCoy. That theory however is wrong because Duhamel had been on the small screen years earlier than that as he played Leo du Pres in “All My Children” from 1999 to 2002. In only a storyline that only soap operas could get away with, Leo disappeared over a waterfall and his body was never found again. Since those days, Duhamel has made his way onto the big screen and appeared in “Transformers,” “When In Rome” and “Life As We Know It.”

So if you’re a budding young actor and you get cast in a television soap, certainly don’t think that the role on offer is beneath you, because as you can see, so many great big screen actors of today started with a role in the humble television soap.

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Summary:The Expendables are reunited when Mr. Church enlists them to take on a seemingly simple job. When things go wrong, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory, where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time – five tons of weapons-grade plutonium, more than enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that s nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary they seek revenge from.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 30th August, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 28th December, 2012

Country: United States

Director: Simon West

Screenwriter: David Agosto, Dave Callaham (characters), Ken Kaufman, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Wenk

Cast: Scott Adkins (Hector), Charisma Carpenter (Lacy), Randy Couture (Toll Road), Terry Crews (Hale Caesar), Novak Djokovic (himself), Liam Hemsworth (Bill The Kid), Jet Li (Yin Yang), Wenbo Li (Dr. Zhou), Dolph Lundgren (Gunnar Jensen), Alexander Moskov (Stephan), Chuck Norris (Booker), Amanda Ooms (Pilar), Arnold Schwarznegger (Trench), Sylvester Stallone (Barney Ross), Jason Statham (Lee Christmas), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Vilain), Denis Vasilev (Jarek), Bruce Willis (Church), Nan Yu (Maggie), George Zlatarev (Bojan)

Runtime: 103 mins

Classification:MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Expendables 2’ Review:

There are lots of explosions and lots of blood splatter!!! Is there anything else you really need to know before you go to see The Expendables 2. Nobody knows what action fans want as much as Sylvester Stallone (Zookeeper, The Expendables), who not only stars in The Expendables 2 but was one of the co-writers, so there is little wonder that he has created what turns out to be one of the action films of the year.

For those who didn’t see the first film The Expendables are a bunch of mecenries that basically live by the rule ‘no job too hard’. The Expendables 2 sees the old gang of Barney Ross ( Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham – Safe, Killer Elite)), Yin Yang (Jet Li – The Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate, The Sorcerer And The White Snake), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren – Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning, One In The Chamber), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews – TV’S The Newsroom & Are We There Yet?) and Toll Road (Randy Couture – Hijacked, Set Up) all back together and this time they have a new sniper on their team, Bill The Kid (Liam Hemsworth – The Hunger Games, The Last Song).

After recent successes the team are on a high but Barney soon finds himself having to accept a mission in a bid to settle his debt with Government Agent Church (Bruce Willis – Fire With Fire, Moonrise Kingdom) who provides them with a suitable weapon to get the job done, Maggie (Nan Yu – Design Of Death, Yu Shi Shang Tong Ju). But the easy mission turns to tragedy and soon the team find themselves having to take on the evil, Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme – 6 Bullets, Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning) in order to get the mission done. And with the likes of Booker (Chuck Norris – The Cutter, Walker Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire) and Trench (Arnold Schwarznegger – The Expendables, Around The World In 80 Days) only too happy to help out there is going to be bloodshed.

It may come as a surprise to many but the storyline of The Expendables 2 actually ain’t that bad, not that surprising when you remember that Sylvester Stallone has won an Oscar for Screenwriting in the past. Of course the screenplay for The Expendables 2 won’t win any Oscars but it is more than enough to keep the audience’s attention and surprisingly there are some actual touching moments.

But of course people aren’t watching The Expendables 2 for the story, so how is the action? Well take any action film that you have seen in the past and multiple the amount of blood splatter and explosions that contained by ten. The action sequences do look good, but it does seem a tad lazy that characters just seem to turn up at the right time to ‘save the day’, and I must admit that the Stallone vs Van Damme epic battle was a little short for my liking.

Still The Expendables 2 does what it sets out to do and that is entertain. If you are an action junkie this is one film you don’t want to miss this year.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Expendables 2’: http://www.helium.com/items/2366302-movie-reviews-the-expendables-2-2012.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: The Expendables 2 (2012) on IMDb