Stallone has confirmed Van Damme and Norris for EXPENDABLES 2

tn_breakingnewsThank you for tuning in to outlawvern.com, your headquarters for the very latest in linking to other websights that have the very latest on EXPENDABLES 2: TRY TO BE OPEN-MINDED, GUYS. A new article at Entertainment Weekly dot communications has confirmed some of the rumors and might start a couple new ones too. The short of it is that Stallone is going to pretend to go toe-to-toe with Van Damme in a fight. But it gets better. More summarizing and paraphrasing after the clicking thing.

CONFIRMED IN THE ARTICLE

Van Damme and Chuck Norris in the cast:

“Stallone said… that he’s also added Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme to the mix…”

Van Damme will be a villain:

“’We’ll have a big showdown between me and Van Damme, which has been anticipated for a long time, so it should be a good one,’ says Stallone.”

It does not mention Norris’s alignment.

mega-faceoffTHE BEST NEWS IN THE ARTICLE

He “thinks” Nic M.F. Cage is gonna be in the movie:

“‘We’ve got Chuck Norris and I think Nic Cage,’ says Stallone. ‘We’re trying to work out different scenarios.’”

Let’s all hope Cage plays a mega-actable villain. The article doesn’t mention this, but if Cage can work it into his schedule there are a couple good reasons to think he’d be willing to do it. Simon West directed Cage in CON AIR and the upcoming MEDALLION, so there’s a relationship there. Cage also has a relationship with Millennium Films because they produced THE WICKER MAN, DRIVE ANGRY 3D, TRESPASS, MEDALLION and most importantly BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS. And he seems to be loyal to producers, considering how many shitty movies he does with Jerry Bruckheimer.

DOESN’T SOUND LIKE IT’S GONNA HAPPEN

EW tries to push the reports that Mr. Cage’s FACE/OFF faceswitching partner J. Travolta might be in the movie, but this Stallone quote seems to imply that’s not likely:

“It’s possible. The one thing I’ve learned is what is a fact on Monday is a complete fallacy on Tuesday. A lot of it is scheduling. It’s not financial. It’s just that Bulgaria is definitely a jaunt. It’s a commitment, you know what I mean? Especially in the dead of winter.”

TWO ACTORS WHO ARE POPULAR AROUND HERE THAT STALLONE BRINGS UP SOMEWHAT CONDESCENDINGLY BUT DOES NOT MAKE CLEAR IF HE IS SERIOUSLY TRYING TO GET THEM OR IF THEY ARE JUST EXAMPLES OF THE TYPE OF ACTOR HE’S TRYING TO GET

“I like using people that had a moment and then maybe have fallen on some hard times and give them another shot. So we’re always looking for actors like Michael Biehn and Michael Pare. I like those kinds of guys. Someone did it for me and I like to see if I can do it for them.”

THE BIG QUESTION THAT IS NOT MENTIONED AT ALL IN THE ARTICLE

Jet Li

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86 Responses to “Stallone has confirmed Van Damme and Norris for EXPENDABLES 2”

  1. Yes please! Cage is well overdue for a bit of mega-villaining! Suddenly I’m interested in this again.

  2. all that’s missing now is Steven Seagal

  3. Is it just me, or are these movies starting to sound like Street Fighter 2/Mortal Kombat style tournament set-ups? ‘This guy fights this guy, then that guy fights that guy, then there’s a big explosion and the movie ends.’ I still argue that the best way to make an Expendables movie is to convince Bruce to play the main antagonist (http://bit.ly/ad7fkd) so that they have a villain worthy of them, but no one ever listens to me. It’s like a rule. Maybe a good one.

  4. I read on several sites – perhaps ones that had seen the script – that Chuck would be in one scene only, as an old bud of Stallone’s. Needless to say, could be true, could be utter BS.

    I’m surprised at Sly naming names like that – he kinda redeems himself at the end but still, bad form, Sly.

    I’d like to see Cage in EXPEN-DEUX-BLES, if only to see him go toe-to-toe with JCVD over who owns the permed mullet/denims/wifebeater ensemble.

  5. I’d like to see Arnold’s team go after the same pay cheque as Sly’s team. Give them lots of screen time, maybe have them all buddy up at the end, shit like that.

  6. Hopefully, Cage will have put out about 6 more movies between now and the release of EXPENDABLES 2: I DON’T HAVE THE ENERGY TO THINK OF JOKEY SEQUEL NAMES RIGHT NOW. He’s been stingy lately, but he has an endless reserve of Mega, I just know it.

  7. Mouth – no no no… let him build up a vast reserve of Mega, and then unload it all on us in an Expendables spoogy mess of mega-ness.

  8. good idea Darth Irritable, I find that when I save up my Mega for about a week it’s a lot more satisfying when I unleash my Mega-ness…..

    …..wait, what were we talking about?

  9. Expendables 2: Celebrity Death Match: The Live Action Experience

  10. “..wait, what were we talking about?”

    The Travelling Wilburys, I think.

  11. Having Nic Cage turns this into a Red Box rental into a potential opening weekend adventure.

    Or, I’ll just rewatch Knowing or something.

  12. “Someone did it for me and I like to see if I can do it for them.”
    EXPENDABLES 2: PAY IT FORWARD PART II

  13. Griff: Seagal is unlikely

    http://www.deadline.com/2011/09/expendables-2-sets-action-dream-trio-arnold-schwarzenegger-bruce-willis-join-sly-stallone/

    in the comment section:

    Where’s Steven Segal on that list?

    Comment by the mob sheriff — Tuesday September 6, 2011 @ 6:38pm EDT

    Seagal is not on the list because he and producer Avi Lerner have bad blood. I believe he was approached for the first one.

    Comment by Ed — Tuesday September 6, 2011 @ 6:51pm EDT

    i thought it was JCVD and Seagal who didn’t get along?

    Comment by nick — Wednesday September 7, 2011 @ 9:16pm EDT

    He’s busy driving tanks through walls and running over puppies.

    Comment by Jack — Tuesday September 6, 2011 @ 9:28pm EDT

    Where is the new action hero of Hollywood – Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) – He is good and of course, it adds the universe’s diverse ethnicity too.

    Comment by alistair — Wednesday September 7, 2011 @ 5:35pm EDT

    Seagal has got to lose 70 lbs. Then he’ll be in Expendables 3.

    Comment by scott — Tuesday September 13, 2011 @ 12:27pm EDT

  14. Ok… apart from the fact that if the shitty action sequences and horrible scoring hadn’t doomed “The Expendables” then Stallone’s dismal emotionless wooden awkward performance would have done it all on its own, does anybody really WANT to see recent-era Stallone take on recent-era Van Damme? It’s a long, long time since Stallone vs Snipes in “Demolition Man”. (And it has to be said, two things made “Demolition Man” great: the satire, and Sandra Bullock. Sorry Snipes / Stallone, but in your hearts you guys know it’s true.) Twenty years earlier, maybe. Now I kinda wish he’d give up the lead to Statham (who was pretty good in “Expendables” for what he was given).

    Although come to think of it… if I’d they’re trying to bring back early-era Stallone and Van Damme, then why not early-era Bullock? Before she moved onto virtuous movies dealing ham-handedly with the subject of white guilt, she made quite a name for herself of upstaging action stars in better-than-average popcorn flicks. She did it with Snipes and Stallone in “Demolition Man”, she did it with Keanu in “Speed”, she even managed to upstage Matthew McConaghey in “A Time to Kill”. (Truly she brought down a legend in that one.) Why not bring HER back? Can’t be any worse than some of the decisions they made on the first movie…

    Seriously. Fuck Nic Cage. Bring back Bullock. NOBODY would ever expect it.

  15. Zombie Paul, you’re a genius.

    Plus, we may finally get an explanation of how to use those 3 seashells.

  16. But Sandra Bullock’s no action icon. She’s never even committed a MurderDeathKill in any movies.

  17. RE: The Three Seashells

    Scroll down to question 9

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/30865

  18. Anything that puts Norris back on the big screen and away from his political ramblings is fine by me.
    I wholeheartedly support Nic Cage being in this movie. I would love to see Cage do a villain using an evil grown-up version of the voice he used for the boyfriend in Peggy Sue Got Married.
    I also think the Arnie/Sly competing teams idea but think that a better take on it would be that both teams were being set up, possibly by the CIA contact because of all the super secret shit they know that could be used against Willis and others (Cage as a prez candidate? Norris as a Congresscritter?). Like as if there was a govt crackdown on the use of mercenaries.

  19. And that three seashell explanation is not fanciful enough for me. Just kinda ew.

  20. Jack Burton:

    Thanks for the heads up. Another mystery filled with wonder in my life reduced to disappointing ugliness. I was expecting something more zen. Ah well.

  21. I’m worried that Sly seem to cas the film before he write the script, so it ends with too many characters, that doesn’t have enough to do.

    Of course you can have several main characters if you make a men on mission film. The Angry Dozen does this, Seven Samurai and The 13 Assassins. Even Fast Five kinda did it, and Ocean’s Eleven did it pretty well. But casting all this actors that are not part of the team looks to be a waste of time and talent. It almost seem like the cast of The Thin Red Line where George Clooney only had one scene, and Travolta was barley inn it, and actors like Mickey Rourke was deleted.

    Will Nicolas Cage and John Travolta have their own storyline? Will they be allies to the Expendables, give them information and stuff, or will they be contagonist and hunt the Expendables down or work with the villains.

    In Fast Five you had 18 characters. Dom and Brian had 8 allies in their films, and Dom and Brian had their own story with Dom and the police chick, Brian and Mia having a baby, and a their was third one abou if they could trust vince, and the other 6 gets teamed up in pairs and get their own things to do and scenes to shine in, kinda like Ocean’s Eleven. You also had a villain in Joaquim Del Ameida, who didn’t get too much to do, and an right hand in Michael Irby, who always was left standing when the other hencmen where dead, and of course you got the contagonist in The Rock, and he had the police chick (Adrien Brody’s ex-girl friend and Thors wife) and four team mates. In the end it all seem to work out.

    In The Expendables Terry Crewes, Randy Couture and Jet Li didn’t have much to do, and Dolph Lundgren also left the film for a while. They of course deleted a sub plot with the character Agent Will Sands, Diane Lickson and also the Navy Seals. So he might bring that back.

    With the exception of two or three of the villains, most of them will have nothing to do and will be a waste of time to cast good actors. Read cast good faces and fighting skills.

    Stallone better give Couture, Crewes and Li something to do. Give them their own adventure, and give them a function in the team. Yes, Couture got to fight and kill Stone Cold Austin, and Crewes get to save The Expendables with his AA12, and Li got to fight Dolph Lundgren, but also give them something more to do.

    Their seem to be too many characters to fit into a 2 hours film. The first Expendables wasn’t even 2 hours, but barley 100 minutes long. Even Statham’s b-story had no pay off. What about having a story where Statham has to choose between his girlfriend and The Expendables? But no Statham didn’t get anything to do with that plot.

  22. I saw I called the Dirty Dozen, for The Angry Dozen, that’s my mistake. Trivia: the Norwegian title is 12 Doomed men (12 Fortapte menn).

  23. I am already excited about JCVD being in E2, but if they get Cage my head might explode. If they do get Cage they should let him improvise all of his own dialog. Also, I am betting that there are going to be a number of flash backs in this film or a large portion of it will take place before the previous film because I read somewhere that Stone Cold had confirmed he was signed on for E2, but (SPOILERS) he died at the end of the first film. Has anyone else here heard anything about Stone Cold returning in the sequel?

  24. Stone Cold returns as a cyborg. Pretty obvious.

  25. There will be a Stone Cold twin. Worked for Screwface.

  26. Merso & CJ, both sugestions sound like good ideas to me.

  27. A cyborg twin…with a mullet.

  28. A Brian Bosworth mullet to be exact, as a nod to his cinematic namesake.

  29. CJ – but what if they’re triplets?

  30. Oh, and I 100% agree with Ghost’s assessment of the original “Expendables”. If it had been a true ensemble piece, instead of the Stallone / Statham show, it might’ve worked a lot better in terms of plot / pacing.

  31. It needed a proper second act. When they returned to the island (also…how?) have the team take out a couple of other targets before the big mansion first.

  32. We will find out that the Stone Colds were triplets, when part three hits theatres. And if there will be an Expend4bles, they might start with twin cousins, like in those old sitcoms.

  33. Stu & Zombie Paul, I agree with both you guys. However, ZP you have to understand that when you have cast like EXPENDABLES does you are having to work around everyone’s schedule. I am sure they would have liked for it to be more of an ensemble piece, but you have to work with what you got.

  34. I do think that it would be awesome if Stone Cold played the identical twin of his character from the first film, and he was out on a mission for revenge of the death of his brother.

  35. Or you could add a pinch Mortal Kombat II: Stone Cold in the sequel is the “good” twin, so he joins The Expendables team.

  36. Sly vs JCVD? That is awesome news… in 1991. I’m sure they can still pull off a cool fight though.

  37. According to Twitter, Donnie Yen is out and Jet Li is back in.

    Charles – I heard exactly that. If it’s true it’s awesome.

  38. Sly vs JCVD (+ Arnie) all in the same film!?!? I still can’t wipe the smile off my face, even though I know the final fight will be filmed on a jack-hammer and edited 423 times in under 90 seconds.

    But do we get an Arnie vs Sly fight? I guess that would be out of question because one couldn’t legitimately beat the other (same should go for Sly vs JCVD). Surely one of them will be distracted or cheat or some shit that means either one could have won etc…

    Anyway, I’m still really excited by this. I know it’ll be a bit shit, but it’s still all my heroes on the screen in a new film.

    (Does anyone care that old ginger beard might be in this? He’s so lame. Even as a post-action-hero-comedy-guy who cares. I just never really enjoyed any of his films. He can’t act, his fighting is stiff and he has a ginger beard. Though I have to admit, The Hero and The Terror was spectacular!)

  39. To be perfectly frank I am more of a Norris guy than a JCVD guy, but even I can get particularly excited about him being in this. Would gladly trade both of them to have either Seagal or Cage or even Travolta in this.

  40. I think it would be cool though if Norris was playing a villain, either a reprise of the cocky asshole he played in WAY OF THE DRAGON or a corrupt nationalistic right wing scumbag, like a super villain Oliver North. I don’t think he’d do the second one, though. I bet he’s just some friend of Barney’s.

  41. Vern – I gotta say my reaction to Norris was the same as yours instinctively. “Way of the Dragon” is arguably the best movie he’s been in, certainly the best one that I’ve seen. I’ve always imagined he would make a good Mr Sexton from “Modesty Blaise” (two hundred internet points for obscure genre reference please). That’s the kind of character I feel would work in a much more esoteric, imaginative film than I would expect the sequel to “The Expendables” to be.

    Of course, there’s no way that they’re going to actually make that kind of film; instead they’re going to give us “gritty” again. I’d LOVE it if they made a total break from the first movie and made the second one a group of guys assaulting a seventeenth-century castle, complete with ninjas and pirates and shit, on a mission to kill a vampire or something. Stop trying to shoe-horn everyone into a stupid generic “South American Warlord” plot that’s been done about a hundred times before, and instead imagine the ultimate character for each of these stars to play. Then just create a film about THOSE characters, and build the setting around them.

    Y’know, if I were going to make a film including all the greatest action stars in the world, here’s what I’d do with ‘em…

    Chuck Norris – gotta be Sexton, by which I mean a man so dangerous that nobody would take him on. Totally arrogant, handsome and self-assured, he’d be the greatest technical martial artist in the world bar none, at home in the ring or the dojo.

    Jet Li – I’d make him the opposite of Norris. Whereas Norris’ character would be world-famous, Li’s would be a tough street-brawler who’d survived the harshest urban environments because he can fight with anything to hand. A more tough, streetwise, cynical version of a typical Jackie Chan character, if you like.

    Dolph Lundgren – a near-mute focussed multiskilled Navy SEAL “ghost” with an IQ of 220, who can hack into any computer and break into any locked room, leaving no sign he was there but the two dead guards, left on the floor exactly where they were standing with their necks broken from behind…

    Stallone – well, he’s already “done” the retired military veteran called out for one last mission, which you’d think would work well given “First Blood”; and frankly he SUCKED. Really, really sucked. Painfully. Erm… I’d have him be a cop who has to make some tough moral choices, actually. I think that some of his best roles have been in characters with a law-enforcement background. “Demolition Man” and “Cop Land” for instance, he was very good in both of those films.

    Statham – well this one they got right – they made him the confident badass best used in a bad situation with the odds apparently stacked against him. I mean, his dialogue was horrible, but his character wasn’t. I think getting the most out of a character like the one Statham plays depends on putting him in exciting situations and giving him good dialogue to work with. The basketball court scene in “The Expendables” I did like, despite the post-action bullshit. If they can make more scenes like this for him, it would be a great use of this guy.

    Nic Cage – an icy larychmose psychopath. Simple as that. Think Heath Ledger’s “Joker” coupled with Cage / Travolta’s work in “Face / Off”. This guy needs a character arc – starting off cool but deadly, but then working up to some classic mega-acting in the end when things start to unravel for him.

    JCVD – I’d have him play a guy who’s biggest wish is to be forgotten. Somebody totally humble, not self-aggrandizing at all, who was once famous for his ability to kill people but who regrets that lifestyle. Who’s reluctantly approached by the good / bad guys to be part of their team, resists, but then gets pushed a little too far and just snaps… yeah, I’m thinking a LOT of “Unisol: Regeneration” here. And why the hell not, it’s his best performance by miles in any film where he wasn’t playing himself…

    Travolta – as long as he gets at least one disco-dancing scene, I don’t care what they do with him.

    That’s my “wish list” for all these actors, what would you guys do with ‘em?

  42. Actually, come to think of it… Chuck Norris’ character would be a lot like Brakus. That’s the best analogy I can come up with that most of you guys will know. The world’s most deadly technical fighter, with a history of killing people in the ring.

  43. It would definitely be interesting to see old Ginger beard play a villain, but does he have really have the gravitas to pull that off? Maybe back when he was hungry, back when he fought Bruce Lee … but now? All I can imagine is a cameo the equivalent of his scene in ‘Dodge Ball’ of him going “Hey there, I’m Chuck Norris, I’m funny because … um … hey there I’m Chuck Norris”.

    If he could actually act beyond a stoic hero it might be cool to see him in this line-up, but surely he can’t pull a JCVD? I don’t see any epic heart-felt, revealing monologues in Chuck’s future. Best bet is definitely that he’ll be some friend of Barney’s, similar to Arnie’s roll in part 1, but less competitive. More like him and Sly are war buddies or some shit like that.

    Sly [to Statham about Chuck] “When I drew first blood this guy was nowhere to be seen”

    Chuck “Yeah, well kiddo, in my defence, I was missing-in-action at the time”.

    Ahahahahahaa …. ha … ha …. sigh.

  44. I have found a second favourite web film criticer behind our Vern: http://filmcrithulk.wordpress.com/. Yes, the Hulk is a film critic. And every article is written in the voice of the Hulk, if he was a critic and could say more the “Hulk smash!”.

    You guys need to read is 3 part essay about how to make a good action scene. Guest contribution by Attack The Blocks cinematograph. A realy great read, and the Hulk knows his action, and he knows Kung-fu, and they bring Tarkovski into a conversation about action scenes.

  45. Yeah that’s a great essay from what I’ve read so far (he makes me seem short and too the point… and that’s part 1 of 3). He makes some really insightful points about what makes a great action scene that I hadn’t really considered. I like that guy.

    And I’m glad that after ten years or so all the serious critics are now on board the “they need to learn how to shoot a fuckin action scene” train and they’re giving it way more intense analysis than I’ve ever bothered with. The one thing that I don’t think has been taken into account enough in this wave of essays is that this is not just a problem in mainstream movies with action scenes but also the straightahead action. If you can’t go see a Statham or Stallone movie and expect to know who is punching who then there is a problem. So there is a problem.

  46. Ghost and Vern – I was with him until he cited the Moscow car chase as a GOOD example of Shaky-cam. I cite it as an “I can’t tell what the hell is going on” example of Shaky-cam.

    But he’s right… any device can be used well, and the Omaha landing in “Saving Private Ryan” was spectacular.

    Vern – you don’t need the Hulk for incredibly long posts that nobody reads the entirety of. You have me for that. Think of me as your very own Hulk.

  47. “THE SLOW-MOTION IS ONLY USED TO SHOW HOW GNARLY AND COOL IT IS WITH THE SLICING OF RANDOM ENEMIES. IT IS COMPLETELY UNLIKE THE MOMENTS OF SLOW-MOTION IN BRAVEHEART, WHICH WAS TRYING CREATE TENSION BEFORE MOMENTS OF SUBSTANTIAL IMPACT.”

    YEAH! I like this guy. I really, really like this guy. This is everything I’ve ever felt about bad slow-motion in late eighties, nineties, and early noughties action flicks. To me it was THE device that seemed only to exist to be abused approximately eighty percent of the time I ever saw it, at least before shaky-cam came along. Hell, this is my major problem with “Lord of the Rings”: the entire FILM feels like it’s shot either from a helicopter, so you get no sense of “intimacy” with the characters, or in heroic slow motion.

  48. His points on the three-act-structure versus five-act-structure are interesting too. And I love his analyses of Spielberg and Shakespeare (now there’s a duo and a half).

    Thanks, Ghost, that was really interesting reading.

  49. VERN – HULK THANK FOR THE KIND WORDS. HULK BEEN READING YOU SINCE JUST ABOUT FOREVER.

    GHOST – THANK YOU KINDLY FOR POSTING. GLAD YOU ENJOY. CHEERS!

    ZOMBIE PAUL – THANK YOU FOR READING. THE ACT STRUCTURE THING AN INTERESTING PROBLEM, BECAUSE IT NOT THAT IT NECESSARILY “WRONG” BUT HULK BELIEVE IT LEAD TO MOST OF THE PROBLEMS WE SEE IN POPULAR MOVIES TODAY (CHIEFLY PEOPLE HAVING ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH THE MIDDLE OF THEIR MOVIES. ANY GOOD “SECOND ACT” YOU SEE IN MOVIES USUALLY IS COMPRISED OF A BUNCH OF EM. AND IT NOT NECESSARILY HAVE BE 5 ACTS EITHER, BUT HULK FIND THAT 5 ACTS TEND TO LEAD TO “HEALTHIER” MORE FLESHED OUT BLOCKBUSTERS.

    ANYWHO ALL, CHEERS!

  50. Vern – What do you think about Jim Emerson and Joseph Kahns (Torque) battle over The Dark Knight? It’s interesting how it has escalated, and how many articles and video essay thats been released this month and August about action scenes. First with Chaos Cinema, then Emerson 3 parts serious about action scenes, and then Joseph Kahn’s blog about analyzing action scenes and attack Emerson and defending The Dark Knight. And then of course Hulks great three part article. Lots of interesting stuff, specially for me, as I’m writing my Master Thesis on the evolution of the action scene, from the birth of the cinema to today.
    http://josephkahn.blogspot.com/2011/09/analyzing-action.html
    http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/motion-captured/posts/the-morning-read-joseph-kahn-and-jim-emerson-do-battle-over-the-dark-knight
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2011/09/in_the_cut_part_iii_bullitt_th.html
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2011/09/in_the_cut_part_i_shots_in_the.html#comments

  51. Why thank you very much for coming and posting, Mr Hulk. (Can I call you Mr. Hulk?) Always nice to get a new voice in this place.

    On a completely different subject, I’m going to go and see “Kill List” now. It’s a British film about a soldier who comes home from Afghanistan and is persuaded into taking a job as a contract killer by his wife and best friend. Don’t know much more about it than that, but I do know it’s billed as a horror film (rather than straight-up action). It’s had some good reviews so I’ll let you guys know what I think here (it probably will quite literally be here, in this very thread; the latest “Potpourri” thread seems to have got to the point where my browser starts to get errors when it tries to load it).

  52. Ok. I’m back. Holy shit, where do I start with this one?

    Vern, I’m going to ask you to see “Kill List”, ideally in a cinema full of people like us who can appreciate the kinds of films that we appreciate that more mainstream audiences, perhaps, don’t. And then I’m going to ask you to review it. I don’t know if you’ll have the opportunity to see it in the cinema, given that it’s a low-budget British indie film; if not, it’s a huge shame.

    I want to make one thing clear: THIS IS NOT A REQUEST. “Juggernaut” is a request. (And that request still stands by the way: it’s a freakishly awesome film that’s somehow been forgotten despite having scenes that are so iconic, they’re still parodied today.) “Kill List”, on the other hand, is a GIFT. You remember when I thanked you for recommending “Universal Soldier: Regeneration” because I said there was no way I would ever have seen it otherwise? Yep, “Kill List” is my way of returning the favour.

    I think it very likely that you’ll have the same reaction to this film as I had to “regeneration”. I could be wrong. You could hate it; I doubt it, I think that even my notoriously hit-and-miss opinions aren’t THAT far out of sync with yours. But if ever there was a film that was made to be divisive, “Kill List” is it.

    How to properly recommend this movie without giving anything away…? Well, to start with, it opens slap-bang in the middle of a shouting match between husband and wife. We quickly learn that the husband’s preferred – in fact, his only – method of communicating with anybody outside of his son is antagonistic. His wife – who volunteered to join the military because “they can’t let the boys have all the fun” – calls him “the one”, and holy shit, I believe her. These two were made for each other.

    The husband is the main character in the movie. He’s a good father but a bad communicator; he’s sometimes henpecked, and has been at a loss since he returned from his tour of duty eight months ago. He’s also hands-down the scariest character I’ve ever seen in a film that I’m supposed to “empathise” with. Some of what he does… we never find out exactly WHY he does what he does. He clearly has issues, but the details of what happened to him are deliberately kept vague. He’s almost like an ultra-realistic version of the Joker, except that instead of having somebody trying to stop him, this guy’s family and best friend are right there egging him on, oblivious to just how fucked up he is.

    This movie is VISCERAL, and this aspect of it grows throughout the movie. It had me at the restaurant scene (you’ll know it when you see it) which is a mixture of nervous laughter and stark terror. But what happens to the second guy who’s killed… it’s probably the most effectively brutal scene I’ve ever seen in a film. And even this doesn’t quite prepare you for what happens afterwards.

    The final act… some people will hate it, and I wouldn’t blame them. It’s so out of left-field that some people will feel cheated. I’m not one of those people, and neither, so far as I could tell, were the people who were in the cinema with me; but not everyone’s going to agree with us.

    Like everything else in this movie, the sound design is “eccentric”; the credits roll in almost total silence. I was sitting in the back row of the cinema for this one (it’s an arts cinema, so only about seven rows in total) and got the chance to see the reactions as the credits came up. I don’t even know how to describe it – imagine twenty or so people, in a room, sitting in awestruck shocked silence for about thirty seconds, after that just glancing around to from side to side to see if everyone else is in the same state. Nobody moves, nobody gets up. It’s a roomful of people staring at a blank screen for half a minute because they’re too stunned to do anything else.

    Vern, everybody: you have to see this film. This isn’t a case of “if you’re into this kind of thing this is a really good example” like “Silent House” or “Julia’s Eyes”, the last two films I reviewed here. This is a visceral, gripping, shocking, awe-inspiring movie with perfect performances, direction, cinematography, and – I cannot stress this enough – the scariest fucker I’ve ever seen in ANY movie as its protagonist.

    Fuck it, even if you hate “Kill List”, you’ll still be glad you saw it. It’s that kind of movie.

    This is my gift to you guys, in response to “Blood and Bone” and “Universal Soldier: Regeneration” and “Kill Zone” and all the other excellent films that I wouldn’t have seen if you hadn’t recommended them to me.

    Ok I’m done.

  53. Oh FUCK the lousy formatting on this website that makes every fucking post look about two pages long… nobody’s gonna read that. So let me paraphrase.

    “I was sitting in the back row of the cinema for this one (it’s an arts cinema, so only about seven rows in total) and got the chance to see the reactions as the credits came up. I don’t even know how to describe it – imagine twenty or so people, in a room, sitting in awestruck shocked silence for about thirty seconds, after that just glancing around to from side to side to see if everyone else is in the same state. Nobody moves, nobody gets up. It’s a roomful of people staring at a blank screen for half a minute because they’re too stunned to do anything else.”

    “This is a visceral, gripping, shocking, awe-inspiring movie with perfect performances, direction, cinematography, and – I cannot stress this enough – the scariest fucker I’ve ever seen in ANY movie as its protagonist. Even if you hate “Kill List”, you’ll still be glad you saw it. It’s that kind of movie.”

    Basically, see “Kill List”. And this isn’t one of those “if you like X genre, you’ll like this” types of deal. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU should see this fucking movie. I dunno what the hell you’re doing at this site if this doesn’t appeal to you in some way.

  54. Seems like those anger management classes really paid off for Hulk. Rehabilitation can work if you give it a chance.

  55. Jareth – hehe.

    No responses yet about “Kill List”?

    Seriously, guys, if you ignore EVERY OTHER THING I’ve written, if you don’t agree with a single thing I’ve said about any other film, please please PLEASE listen to me on this one. I know none of you have probably heard of this film, it being a pretty obscure British indie flick. So FIND OUT. Please.

    I just brought you the next “Universal Soldier: Regeneration” or “Blood and Bone”. And that’s probably an understatement. The ambition of “Kill List” in terms of scope, character, sheer visceral impact… I’ve never seen anything like it before.

    Guys… films like “Kill List” are what websites like this one are for. They’re why Vern does what he does. Don’t let this one slip away unnoticed. Please. It deserves better than that.

  56. Ghost – I’ve heard about all these but I have a bunch of work that needs to be done, I’m hoping next week once I’ve fulfilled my responsibilities to sit down and watch all that crap and see what I think.

  57. karlos, if that is true. I am willing to bet that vengeful Stone Cold twin is the one that kills Rourke off, since Rourke being killed has been reported as one of plot points. I just hope that if they do get Cage they have at least one scene with him and Rourke in it where they just let the two riff and improvise off of each other. They are both such intense, strange, and talented dudes it would be awesome. Also, I was thinking the other day that since this franchise is a vehicle for aging action stars it would really be awesome if they made into a modern day WILD BUNCH where (SPOILER) there is a big Mexican stand off at the end and they all die. I know it will never happen, but a guy can dream right?

  58. Paul: Based on title alone I’ll check out KILL LIST when it becomes available. I trust you’d warn us if the film was some sort of Guy Ritchie crap.

  59. Jareth – I very much liked “Lock Stock”, but don’t worry – “Kill List” is NOTHING like Guy Ritche. We’re talking a completely separate animal here. Ritchie’s comedy generally revolves around the situation and “smart” dialogue, whereas “Kill List” is entirely character-driven. It’s a complex study of a loving husband, father, and natural killer, who’s reluctantly forced by financial issues into doing the thing he’s best at to make ends meet.

    Sorry if I sounded over-vehement above, but this thing will probably get fifty SCREENINGS in Wales, probably a few hundred across the UK, if it’s lucky. In the one I was at, there were maybe twenty or so people there. I doubt it’ll get much more attention elsewhere. If I don’t promote it, it will probably slip into obscurity, because who the fuck else is going to do so? And this film does not deserve to slip into obscurity. Whenever people say “I wish recent movies were better”, this is what they’re talking about.

    In something like four or five years of posting here, I don’t think I’ve ever made a recommendation to you guys like this before. That should give you some idea of what we’re dealing with here.

  60. “Kill List” have been covered a lot on sites like Twitch, and even horror sites. The problem with the reviews I have read is that they all talk about the twist that gets the film into the horror genre. Also there is few very spoilerish reviews out there discussing the end, and why it doesn’t make any sense, and why not to believe the hype. So it’s a film that has been very hyped in the UK and on Twitch. I think they have posted like 5 reviews over the last 5 months.

    Have you get to see “A Lonley Place To Die”? I’m dying to see it, it doesn’t seem to get a big release in the UK, even if it’s British film, film magazines like Empire just gave it a very short review. Most of the review make it sound great. Kinda survivel action film, a combination of Cliffhanger, Shoot To Kill with films like Backwoods, Deliverence and other survivel horror and mountain climbing thrillers.

  61. Paul: Thanks for the additional clarification. I generally enjoy most of the British films that make it to Canada, Guy Ritchie notwithstanding. The RED RIDING films were a big deal over here among film fans, so hopefully KILL LIST will find the same audience.

    And I appreciate your enthusiasm. I tend to push hard on the Guy Maddin recommendations whenever I can as well because you have to go out of your way to find them. Also a little Canadian film called LAST NIGHT.

    But if KILL LIST is a dud, your punishment will be to watch SUNSET starring Bruce Willis, Bruce Willis’ hair, and James Garner. More specifically, you’ll have to come up with an explanation for what exactly that film is supposed to be.

  62. Ghost – there’s no question that a lot of people will hate the ending. I didn’t, but then it’s been well-documented on this site that what pushes my buttons and what pushes other people’s can be very, very different. (For example: I was just as annoyed by the Expendables score as I was by the post-action bullshit. To me it was all a lot of noise on screen, whether visual or audio.) I also have to say that nobody I saw the film with thought the ending spoilt it.

    That said, DO NOT be spoiled, and DO NOT let the possibility of a bad ending put you off seeing this film! Even if you hate the ending with a passion, that still leaves all but the last twenty minutes or so. And that is over an hour of damn-near perfect film-making, as uncompromising as it gets, with great characters and understanding of the cinematic language.

    And as for “hype”, I haven’t seen a single review of this film, anywhere, although I’ve seen mini-reviews in a couple of newspapers’ websites once I started looking for them. It’s been in a couple of arts cinemas and nowhere else, as far as I know.

  63. Wow, that’s a helluva thumbs up for KILL LIST.

    I’d already read a similar rave so, with this, I have put in my mental “Must See” list.

    Thank you, Zombie Paul.

  64. I sort of compiled a list of upcoming Action releases in 2012 that we may be interested in. Feel free to add in if i missed anything.

    El Gringo- Scott Adkins
    Forced To Fight- Gary Daniels
    The Butcher- Van Damme
    Universal Soldier IV- Van Damme/Dolph/Adkins
    In The Name Of The King 2- Dolph
    Parker- Jason Statham
    Safe- Jason Statham
    Echelon- Jason Statham
    Tom Yun Goong 2- Tony Jaa
    Armour of God 3: Chinese Zodiac- Jackie Chan
    The Raid
    Death Race 3
    The Expendables 2

  65. What do you guys think of the trailer for PREMIUM RUSH? I think it looks great. Real stunts, real NYC locations, a simple, catchy premise, an unshowy, workmanlike director, a star who elevates whatever he’s in, and an enjoyable nutjob for him to play off of. I’m thinking it threatens to give PG-13 action thrillers starring bankable young heartthrobs a good name.

  66. According to the ever reliable IMDb, Capatin America: The First Avenger’s cinematographer has joined The Expendables 2. I’m hoping that means we’re getting clear action.

  67. Yeah, hopefully, dude. Of course we want clear action, but CPT USA is a movie that managed to make jumping out of an airplane into combat look boring, trite, lighthearted, & inconsequential.
    And they didn’t even show him PLF! Or where he landed in relation to the enemy before he marched to the objective! Bah! Vern’s right, the E2PENDABLES action is still gonna suck.

    Paul will be glad to know that I broke down and finally watched JUGGERNAUT, which happens to have a really good, dangerous parachutist sequence. Also, the guy in charge of defusing the bombs to save 1200 lives is drunk for almost the whole fucking movie.

  68. Yay, I got one convert. Only about a hundred to go…

    Mouth – I love Richard Harris in that movie. (OK, I love ALMOST everything about the movie – the bits in London are less than thrilling compared to the rest, it’s no “Day of the Jackal” when it comes to making the bureaucracy of desperate situations thrilling – but I especially love Richard Harris.)

  69. Talking about JCVD, I realized that I got no idea if I have ever linked to this video before (even though I’m sure that most of you already know it, since it’s a few years old)
    http://youtu.be/rFwoc6KYZsY

  70. Majestyk – you got a link to that trailer?

    And speaking of links….

    http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/119/1192007p1.html

  71. I saw it before DRIVE but they have it on imdb.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1547234/

    I’m gonna take the first paragraph of that review’s advice and not read any further. I’d never heard of KILL LIST before you guys started talking about it, and if it’s as good as you say (I haven’t seen JUGGERNAUT so it could go either way, really) I’d like to go in totally fresh so as to leave the most room for mind-blowage. It might be nice to see a movie without knowing every single beat of the plot for a change.

  72. Mr. M, I’ve already seen PREMIUM RUSH. It was called QUICKSILVER with Kevin Bacon. Not bad.

  73. Don’t you understand? He’s riding a fixed gear bike. It’s a completely different movie.

  74. Haha! Yeah, fair enough. You’re right. It actually does look like a lot of fun. As a kid I wanted to be a bike messenger. Coolest job ever. In addition to Levitt, this one has Michael Shannon who is awesome. I really want to see him in TAKE SHELTER, which looks really, really good.

    Fixed gear, no brakes? In New York? That’s insane. I’ve seen docs about those guys. Some of them wear body armor and literally, bodily attack cars.

  75. Majestyk, that does look good. I like Gordon-Levitt. He’s a really talented dude, and I agree with Darryll that Michael Shannon is awesome.

    On the other side of the fence, do you know what movie does not look awesome? ABDUCTION, with the werewolf kid from the TWLIGHT films.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1600195/

    IMDB doesn’t have the movie poster up that I saw with him holding a gun trying to look like a badass, but it is hilarious. Maybe I am wrong and it will be a good movie, but I doubt it.

  76. Yeah, ABDUCTION looks pretty not good. That TWILIGHT kid just looks like the dumbest slab of pork on earth. He looks like he’d have trouble running a paper route, let alone running from the CIA. I’m also not really a fan of John Singleton’s action movies. They seem, I don’t know, disingenuous. Like he’s knowingly lowering himself to give us what he thinks we want but he can’t quite fake it right. They seem plastic and condescending.

  77. Paul, I already mentioned it in another thread, but you will be happy to know that JUGGERNAUT is now available in Netflix streaming. I plan on checking it out, I just need to find the time.

  78. Majestyk, I agree with you about Singleton’s action movies. I also remember Samuel Jackson ranting about how much he hated working with him on the SHAFT remake/sequel. He said that Singleton spent more time in his trailer “casting” actresses then directing, and that he was extremely unprofessional and a real head ache to work with.

  79. Re: KILL LIST

    I might just be a lone dissenter on the topic, but I was pretty meh on “Kill List.” The guy’s a helluva director, and he really develops the mood and the pace concurrently – it feels slow and creepy in all the right places. The action movie trappings are there, but he makes it seem like a horror film.

    But I didn’t think it really went anywhere interesting. The movie starts laying these clues down (I will not spoil) and some of these moments are absolutely terrifying. And there are some brief bits of ultraviolence that really make you sit up.

    But I happened to see it shortly after seeing another, much more notorious recent horror film, and I couldn’t help but think, not only did they cover the same bleak, depressing ground, but entire plot points were (coincidentally, I assume) repeated in both films throughout. And “Kill List” plays like the training wheels version of that other film, which I won’t name, but is rather infamous at this point.

    So I saw “Kill List” with two other dudes, and they felt repulsed, like they needed to take a shower, and were visibly shaken. But, I dunno, I just kinda shrugged. Maybe I’m getting desensitized? For the record, that specific horror film I mentioned bothered me to no end, really sick shit. Different strokes, I guess.

  80. Gabe T. – I’m gonna’ go out on a limb and guess the title of the “notorious recent horror film” you refer to. Was it FUNNY GAMES?

  81. Randy Couture just tweeted: Amazing how loud a 50 cal machine gun is ! Let the games begin . Expendables 2 is rolling :)

    Awesome.

  82. Clearly the action Gods are listening – Scott Adkins tweeted that he’s starting shooting on E2 in a fortnight!!! Here’s hoping he gets something to do (and that we can actually see it in the final cut).

    I’m not a tweeter, but his updates appear on his FB page – https://www.facebook.com/officialscottadkins

  83. Mr. Ryback: Great to see the confirmation. Somebody was saying that he’s playing Van Damme’s henchman, which is cool. He’s been a henchman that fought Van Damme before, but Van Damme has never previously been a position where he required any henching.

  84. Hmmm, I haven’t bitched about “Expendables” for a while now. Time to change that.

    Now if I were in any way interested / optimistic about this project, I would ask why they couldn’t get Chuck Liddell. Of course, how much they’d actually give him to do is questionable. But they used Steve Austin ok… Also Liddell is probably the best-known name of all over here in MMA (at least of anybody who’s not named Shamrock) so I don’t know if I want to see him wasted like Couture was.

  85. With EPENDABLES 2 only a couple weeks away here is an amazing screening that I will be attending many of you might be interested in if you live near Austin or Kansas City. The Alamo Drafthouse will be screening 3 JCVD films in 35mm followed by showing EXPENDABLES 2 in both cities. All for only 20 bucks! Here is a link to more info.

    http://badassdigest.com/2012/08/02/austin-and-kansas-city-check-out-van-dammage-plus-the-expendables-2-at-the/

    They have not announced the films they will be screening but if I could choose I would pick BLOODSPORT, LIONHEART, and HARD TARGET. I have only seen BLOODSPORT & LIONHEART on VHS and DVD, so it would be a real treat to see them on the big screen.

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