“The Expendables 2” hits theaters on August 17, 2012, the sequel to the action throwback movie of 2010. Just like in the previous movie, this one brings some of the best action heroes in cinema history together, throwing them in one giant love letter to the genre. With the movie featuring so many massive stars, here is a look at what movies made these men famous.
Sylvester Stallone – Sylvester Stallone directed the first movie, but he is stepping down just to play in the sandbox this time. While he has been in many successful movies, the one that prepared him most for this series was the “Rambo” franchise. Stallone played a Vietnam vet, heading home to find his country did not want him back.
Jason Statham – The closest thing action cinema has to a true star today is Jason Statham. He is the modern day Stallone and proudly stars in action movies galore. His biggest turn came in the high octane thriller “Crank.” In that movie, Statham plays a betrayed contract killer. When someone injects him with a drug that will kill him if his heartbeat drops below a certain rate, he has to fight to stay alive so he can gain vengeance against whoever put the hit on him.
Jet Li – Jet Li brings the fighting styles of the Orient to “The Expendables 2.” While he starred in many, many fighting movies, in his home country, he made his name in America with his appearance in “Lethal Weapon 4.” However, hit biggest notable movie as a hero stateside was the import, “Hero,” where he played a man with no name, sent to kill a warlord in China.
Dolph Lundgren – Dolph Lundgren remains forever linked with Stallone, as his Russian enemy in “Rocky IV.” The big man has appeared in many action movies outside of that, including iconic turns as He-Man and “The Punisher.”
Chuck Norris – The biggest catch for this latest movie is Chuck Norris, known almost as much for his memes as he is for his fighting. To pick out only one movie starring the icon, look no further than “Delta Force,” possibly the original influence for “The Expendables.”
Jean-Claude Van Damme – Van Damme is the second significant addition as the Muscles from Brussels joins as a bad guy in the movie. His biggest movies were always MMA styled fighting movies, with “Bloodsport” as the cream of the crop.
Bruce Willis – Bruce Willis returns in a bigger role and his biggest action hero role is easy to spot. Willis made his action name as John McClane in the “Die Hard” franchise.
Arnold Schwarzenegger – While best known for “Terminator,” the role he portrays here lies more in line with his more brainless action flicks, specifically “Commando.”
With this much brawn and testosterone in one place, it is clear there will be lots of explosions, gun fights and fist fights to satisfy even the most hardened action fan. Besides, even of “The Expendables 2” does not deliver what it promises, there are plenty of movies listed above to satisfy the bloodlust.