"Today they have lots of movies with special effects, CGI and everything which is good, people love that. But it’s like The Avengers with more testosterone…they have some big boys there but we did a lots of fighting ourselves. Especially Sly, he likes to hit, he wants to to see the impact, wants to see the body move...when you don’t use all those cable, green screen, us fighting, you can really see the body and the veins bulging and the muscles moving, the effort, not being pulled by a cable…"
Jean-Claude Van Damme on Expendables II and fight scenes
Jean-Claude Van Damme VS Sylvester Stallone?! This should be the greatest movie fight ever right?! Unfortunately, when I first saw it, I was really disappointed. It just seemed like Van Damme got his ass kicked. Apparently the original fight was more "Hollywood" with a foot chase, flaming helicopter wreckage and a hatchet duel but JCVD thought audiences would want to see a clash of the movie titans, pointing out his own and Stallone's still formidable physical shape. Van Damme had studied all of Stallone's moves and wanted to go mano a mano and do the "boom boom boom" a la Frazier and Ali; talking the Italian Stallion into jettisoning the theatrics for a down and dirty brawl. While JC throws his trademark helicopter kick (twice) many of his best moves are missing. Where's the big roundhouse, the spinning hook, the double punch? Sigh...
Upon revisiting, my stance has softened and I just feel like it was a big missed opportunity. But that's kind of The Expendables franchise in a nut shell isn't it? All this talent but not enough resources or direction to make it successful. Let's see if Three's a charm.
Watch the fight and decide for yourself. Is this a bout for men or sheep?
Then check out my boy Dan Cortese from MTV sports hanging with the real JC and Sly: