The basic concept of the Expendables is simple one: Have a bunch of action hero actors all team up together. But some actors don’t need to team up with anybody, because due to the amount of iconic roles they’ve played in their careers, they’re practically an action hero team unto themselves (not to be confused with Jean Claude Van Damme Syndrome i.e. a condition where you’re always co-starring in movies with yourself!).
So today we’re taking a look at the first batch of these actors who takes the term “one man army” into a whole new direction, and comparing just who has the most badass collection of characters in their repertoire.
- Steven Seagal
The Team: Nico Toscani (Above the Law), Mason Storm (Hard To Kill), Casey Ryback (Under Siege), Forrest Taft (On Deadly Ground), Torrez (Machete), Orin Boyd (Exit Wounds)
Okay, so this is a team mainly consisting of Italian cops and mystically attuned environmental agents with silly names, but man can they all kick ass. And break arms! So many broken arms! Let’s not forget that this team even has a guy who can force drugs to get the hell out of his bloodstream just by making a pooping face. Oh and there’s the guy who can cook up a mean pot of jambalaya before filleting you with a small knife. Hell, not even a 7-year coma and a hobo beard can stop Team Seagal!
- John Travolta
The Team: Vincent Vega (Pulp Fiction), Tony Manero (Saturday Night Fever), Sean Archer/Castor Troy (Face/Off), Michael (Michael), Terl (Battlefield Earth), Charlie Wax (From Paris With Love), George Malley (Phenomenom)
Brrrrrr! If you suddenly feeling a bit chilly, that must probably be as a result of Team Travolta who are just damn cool. When this team isn’t stealing your face to threaten your family, or just shooting up like a madman, they discoing your butt right out the door. That’s when they’re not just busy enslaving the whole planet. And don’t even try to gun them down as bullets tend to have a habit of just hitting all around them due to some telekinesis. Or even divine intervention because, you know, one of them is actually an archangel.
- Zoe Saldana
The Team: Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy), Neytiri (Avatar), Uhura (Star Trek), Cataleya (Colombiana), Aisha (The Losers)
If there’s something out in space that needs to be hunted down or chopped up with a big sword or… er… analyzed (hey, you can’t just be about the killing!), then Team Saldana is the one for you. Able to literally become one with nature, not to mention being raised and trained by one of the most evil and powerful, purple jawed beings the world has ever seen, this team can definitely get stuff done in the most outlandish of environments. Also, shoot really big guns.
- Wesley Snipes
The Team: Blade (Blade Trilogy), Simon Phoenix (Demolition Man), Doctor Death (The Expendables 3), George “Iceman” Chambers (Undisputed), Mark Roberts (U.S. Marshals)
You may think that the Daywalker on this team would be enough to singlehandedly handle pretty much everything thrown it, and well, you’d be right. I mean super vampire strength, speed, resilience and that killer sword with no weakness to sunlight? That’s just about unstoppable. But just in case Blade is having an off day, he also has some backup in a slightly crazy merc who’s whiz with a knife, a heavyweight boxing champ who can punch his way out of prison and even an undercover government operative able to give Tommy Lee Jones the slip (and that’s without making use of a warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse or doghouse!).
- Antonio Banderas
The Team: El Mariachi (Desperado), Zorro (The Mask of Zorro), Puss in Boots (Shrek 2), Gregorio Cortez (Spy Kids series), Galgo (The Expendables 3), Miguel Bain (Assassins)
I’ll be honest, although the prospect of a gun-toting mariachi, a suave super spy, a hyper-active mercenary and an unhinged assassin teaming up is already an intriguing prospect, I just want to see Zorro and Puss In Boots swashing some buckles side by side.
- Uma Thurman
The Team: Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill), Poison Ivy (Batman and Robin), Emma Peel (The Avengers), G-Girl (My Super Ex-Girlfriend), Medusa (Percy Jackson )
You have some crazy Japanese gangs that need slicing and dicing, a dark knight that needs to be shown the power of a green thumb, a madman trying to control the weather that needs sorting out, a stupid ex-boyfriend that needs to be taught the error of his way with some superpowers or maybe even just need to turn some fools to stone? Well then look no further than this group of lovely but kickass ladies, who I have decided to dub Fox Force Five.
- Andy Serkis
The Team: King Kong (King Kong), Caesar (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Gollum (Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Captain Haddock (Tintin)
Easily the most eclectic and unhinged group on this list, but in a certain weird way, also the most balanced. Think about it: You have the noble leader in Caesar, the tough as nails wildcard in Gollum, the wily veteran in Captain Haddock, and of course the giant, oh so giant muscle in King Kong.
- Vin Diesel
The Team: Richard B. Riddick (Riddick Trilogy), Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy), Xander Cage (xXx), The Iron Giant (The Iron Giant), Dom Toretto (Fast & Furious series)
Speaking of an eclectic team, how about one boasting an intergalactic mass murderer, a walking tree, an extreme (xxx-treme?) secret agent, a giant freaking robot and arguably the best getaway driver you can find? Damn straight we are Groot!
- Chuck Norris
The Team: Cordell Walker (Walker, Texas Ranger), Colt (The Way of the Dragon), J.J. McQuade (Lone Wolf McQuade), Maj. Scott McCoy (Delta Force), Matt Hunter (Invasion USA)
Two words: Roundhouse kicks. So many roundhouse kicks. (Okay so that was more than two words. Clearly I’ve had my counting skills roundhouse kicked right out of my brain).
- Keanu Reeves
The Team: Neo (The Matrix Trilogy), Ted (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure), John Wick (John Wick), John Constantine (Constantine), Mark Donaka (Man of Tai Chi), Johnny Mnemonic (Johnny Mnemonic)
Welcome to Team Woah. Here we know kung fu, time travel in phone booths, shoot the hell out of people who aren’t kind to animals, damn the other people to hell, beat up some more people with some more kung fu, and then record all of that in our cybernetic brains so that we can watch it over and over again for laughs. Oh and did I mention we have some kind of flying, bullet dodging, internet hacker messiah with a leather fetish on this team?
Now before I start hearing the cries of “But where’s [INSERT FAVOURITE ACTION HERO HERE] on your list?!”, just remember that this is only the first 10 out of 20 names. So check back next week, when we take a look at our top 10!
Last Updated: October 30, 2014