It's sort of amazing to watch the trailer for "The Expendables" now. The trailer doesn't feature a single second of footage from the movie: It is, in raw form, simply a list of names. STALLONE. SCHWARZENEGGER. WILLIS. STATHAM. LI. ROURKE. LUNDGREN. AUSTIN. COUTURE. CREWS. That's the whole trailer! It was the film's sole selling point. It was an effective one.
Also of note in that trailer: It says that it has all those "action legends" together "for the first and only time." Well, here's the thing about successful franchises: They're not so good at the "only."
"The Expendables 2" has proven even more skilled at the Compiling Of Names game, adding bigger parts for Schwarzenegger and Willis and now adding fellow "action legends" Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris. But the biggest names of all, if Stallone has his way, include Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. He's just trying to work the scheduling out; they do film in Bulgaria during the winter, after all.
We assume this script is just being written on the fly -- this time the film's being directed by Simon West of "Con Air" -- because Cage's and Travolta's parts are unclear and because Stallone is just diagramming up scenes to Entertainment Weekly. Here's how he describes his fight scene with Van Damme:
"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."
All right, that's not so much a description but a plot point. But it is good to know that Stallone and Van Damme will fight and not, in fact, debate whether or not Immanuel Kant's Faculty of Understanding allows for objective reasoning outside of one's perspective.