The Expendables are made up of the greatest action stars of all time, but what makes them great? Explosions, gunfire, and car chases are cool, but we must credit the film crews, technicians, and stuntmen for those goodies. Only one defining characteristic turns a mere mortal into a legend on the silver screen, and that's the ability to kick some good old fashioned butt. Ever since the early days of Douglas Fairbanks and choreographed sword fights, the film industry has consistently gifted us a glorious array of gladiators, martial artists, soldiers, warriors, boxers, and street fighters.
We spend our hard-earned dollars to watch these men pummel the baddies, and they always deliver. Usually it's simply bad ass, but sometimes we are treated with such epic displays of raw power, violence, and manliness that it changes who we are as people. When the credits roll, the everyman detaches his drooping jaw from the soda-glazed theater floor and walks out with his head held high and his spirits higher. For that, these actors deserve our respect. I present to you the best fight scene of each action legend from the cast of The Expendables 2.
After watching the clips, please share your favorite fight scene of an actor from The Expendables in the comments section below.
Die Hard 2 (1990) - The beauty of every Die Hard film is that you must endure second-hand pain as John McClane gets worked like a bloody rag-doll for the entire film, but you know deep down inside that he is not only going to come out on top, but it's going to be a fiery spectacle. The climactic fight scene of Die Hard 2 is the embodiment of that spirit, and despite being on the wing of an airplane, Bruce Willis seems to be having fun. When it's all over, his celebratory laughter, although peppered with pain, is contagious. Yippy kay-yay...
Rocky IV (1985) - The final fight against the Russian Ivan Drago, preceded by the greatest training montage ever, emphasized the power of determined individualism (Rocky in the woods) over a totalitarian regime (Drago and his high tech team of scientists) at the climax of the Cold War. Has a boxing match ever had so many layers? Moreover, the two actors actually sparred, and Lundgren punched Stallone so hard in the chest that his heart slammed against his breastbone, putting him in intensive care for 8 days!
Way of the Dragon (1972) - You know it's going to be a bad ass fight scene when Chuck Norris loses. To be honest, I'm surprised some sort of black hole didn't rip open the universe when Norris first makes physical contact with the legend Bruce Lee. Especially when Lee rips out Chuck's chest hair! As his first major film role, the man of many facts must credit his entire career to being chosen as the villain in this film. Cheeky fight scene bonus: Kitten!
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - "I need your boots, your clothes, and your motorcycle"... my favorite Schwarzenegger line after "It's not a toomah"! He is the only actor who could have pulled off the Terminator convincingly, and T2 is probably the most solid sequel ever. This fight, albeit brief, is a great introduction to good guy Terminator and it includes the required pair of elements for any Schwarzenegger scene: displays of super-human of strength and a hilarious one-liner.
Bloodsport (1988) - Ok, so maybe every hit in this fight is telegraphed in slow-mo, as if planned by someone with no grasp of filmmaking. It was choreographed by Van Damme (oops), but anyone who watches this film is completely mesmerized by this culmination of the ultimate karate tournament. Van Damme is kicked so hard in the face that he goes blind, and in a classic moment he lets out the fiercest of cries and summons enough strength for victory. It was the break out role for The Muscles from Brussels.
Fist of Legend (1994) - This is not only Jet Li's highest rated film, which is impressive for a gutsy remake of Bruce Lee's Fist of Fury, but this final fight scene is considered by many to be one of the best ever. It pits Wushu champion Li against Muy Thai and kickboxing champion Billy Chow, and the results are so good that after seeing it, the Wachowski hired it's choreographer (Yuen Woo-ping) to work on The Matrix.
The Transporter (2002) - The "oil slick scene", where our shirtless hero uses bike pedals for stability, is a legendary fight amongst 21st century action films that represented Statham's transformation into a leading man. The jerks of the world have called this scene homoerotic, but they're probably just insecure. This fight is a classic example of an action star using both brains (knocking over the oil bins when subdued) and brawn (kicking some goon ass). It also includes the best slip'n'slide evasive move you will ever see.