While it might not be true that the Hall H stage nearly collapsed from the combined brawn of The Expendables 2's Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, and Randy Couture, it must have come close. Before the panel began, a few of us joked that they would be bringing more testosterone to Comic-Con than… all of Comic-Con combined, and once you see these guys in person, that's pretty true. Tree trunks come to mind. Brick walls. Concrete bunkers.
Under the moderation of Geoff Boucher of the LA Times' Hero Complex, Sylvester Stallone took the stage after we were treated to a trailer chock full of Stallone moments. Apparently this was made for time travelers from the past, people who have been living in the off-world colonies, and Rip Van Winkle. We all know who he is, right? Anyhow, Stallone introduced the rest of the cast, saving Schwarzenegger for last. Of course, Arnold had a trailer all of his own, equally full of action.
Stallone came out to a standing ovation, with the crowd yelling "ROCKY!" and "ADRIAN!" After it died down, he growled out one word. "Yo." And the crowd went wilder.
Stallone and Schwarzenegger were sporting giant, silver skull rings on their massive fingers. Are there wedding bells we hear in the distance?
The idea for The Expendables came from a quote in Rambo 2 where Rambo says, "You're expendable." He quipped, "I ripped myself off."
Some of the action sequences involved the main stars ducking under actual blazing guns with live, real-time fight choreography. A first for Stallone.
Stallone uses the term "velcro muscles" to explain modern films that are more science fiction in nature. "The kind where you don't have to spend your whole life pumping iron. Actually I'm a little jealous. it's a whole different kind of action hero."
Schwarzenegger said that he and Stallone have been in competition for three decades to see "Who had more action. Who killed more guys. Who had more muscles. Who had more oil on their muscles."
He remembers that sort of stuff as well, because he commented on how many more muscles Terry Crews has now, vs. when they worked together on The Sixth Day. There was some definite bromance going on as Arnold described seeing Terry in the workout room. To which Crews said "Arnold liked my muscles! I can die now!"
Stallone said that his character gets into a tight spot, and is saved by Bruce and Arnold. Then they "Come together in an amazing climax that I don't think will ever be seen again."
When asked about the rumored King Conan, Schwarzenegger only said "Crush your enemies" and continued quoting from Conan and Kindergarten Cop. Yes, it was weird to see him doing impressions of himself.
Schwarzenegger said that a sequel to Twins is in the works, and that director Ivan Reitman is interested. They're just looking for a "great writer" to work on it. He also said to expect an announcement about Stan Lee's Governator project, "Sometime soon."
Other than the seizure-inducing, quick cut trailers for both Stallone and Schwarzenegger, we were treated two sets of sequences for the film. While there wasn't an effort to explain the story beyond "There's a bad guy, shoot him," it does look packed to the gills with kicks, punches, hurled knives, fired bullets, and lots of badassery.
And that includes one liners. When Stallone heads off to chase Jean Claude Van Damme after a particularly shoot-tastic airport sequence, Arnold Schwarzenegger goes to move and says "I'll be back." Willis stops him, and says "You're back enough" and heads off after Stallone. To which Schwarzenegger says "Yippy ki aye."
Yes, that's a thing that actually happened. Which is probably exactly what you expected from this film, and it looks like it delivers on that promise in trailer loads.
OUR FAVORITE QUOTES
Schwarzenegger on first meeting Stallone at the Golden Globes in 1977 (where Rocky won Best Picture and Arnold won Best Newcomer) : "Your mother came over and told me I looked like a piano mover."
Stallone on calling the film Expendables: "Well, it was either that or Dependables. Soon enough. Soon enough. We're not getting any younger."
Terry Crews on being in The Expendables and The Expendables 2: "When I was in the NFL, every Saturday night we would watch these guys in movies, and it would get us pumped up for the entire season. To be in a movie with these guys… I'm from Flint, Michigan. I should be in jail. You get inspiration from these guys."
When asked how the three seashells worked in Demolition Man, Stallone said, "You kinda know how chopsticks work? 'Nuff said. That's how it was explained to me." No, it's not enough said. Does that make any sense to anyone?!
Dolph Lundgren on knocking Stallone out during Rocky IV "He was my boss and he told me to hit him, so I did."
Stallone: "Yeah, he hit me so hard that they took me to the hospital and they thought I had been in a car wreck. I told them it was a Volvo."
Sly on Stallone and Schwarzenegger needing cortisone shots for pain during the shooting of The Tomb: "People thought I set that up. I mean, I love this guy, but I'm not going to take a hypo in the neck for the guy."
Stallone: "The more I get injured in a movie, the better it does. So I hope I get beheaded in the next one."
Crews on being an action film geek: "Look, if I wasn't up here on stage, I would be out there in the audience."