BySarah Gibson, writer at
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Sarah Gibson

Sly Stallone managed to invite one helluva rough-and-tumble ensemble cast for The Expendables 3, consisting mostly of the legendary action movie heroes of the 80s and the 90s.

And now, with The Expendables 3 in theaters and an Expendables 4 reportedly on the way, it looks like these musclebound mercenaries are going to be around for a while. So, we thought we'd take a look at some of the boys of brawn - then and now. Here's how they looked at the beginning of their movie careers, compared to how they look today... Brace yourselves!

Harrison Ford - Drummer

This dude is freakin' 72-years-old now. The man with serious star-sticking power recently reprized his original role in the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Wars flick. And while he may have sustained a foot injury on set, the Expendables 3 star is now fighting fit and walking solo!

Okay, so he might not be Indy anymore. But my money is still on the fact that the action hero airlifted himself to the hospital, with or without the help of his bullwhip. Thoughts?


Arnold Schwarzenegger - Trench

If there's an actor who started with an unconventional career it's Arnie. He started as a pro bodybuilder, winning the title of "Mr. Universe" at the tender age of 20. Since then, he's done Hercules in New York, Conan the Barbarian, and The Terminator. Could he have ended up in a more suitable role than as ultimate Expendables powerhouse Trench Mauser, the former comrade/rival of Barney Ross? Probably not...

That said, Schwarzenegger had a mixed record on gay rights while in office as governor of California: something which amuses me when considering same-sex relationship between Schwarzenegger and Jet Li in The Expendables 3.


Jet Li - Yin Yang

The Beijing-born Shaolin Temple star was a martial arts master by the time he was 19. And although he's still a small ball of roundhouse energy so indestructible that even a tsunami couldn't wipe him out (literally), Li must have been pretty damn busy during filming for The Expendables 3: he's in the movie for about 30 seconds.

This guy holds fifteen gold medals in the Chinese Wushu Championships, and that should not be taken lightly. Still, somehow, there are three jokes from other characters about how short he is... Harsh!


Dolph Lundgren - Gunner Jensen

With a black belt in karate and a career beginning by playing ultimate bad guy in the 1985 James Bond movie A View To Kill, Dolph is one of those actors who has become known for action roles that involve less chat and more...well, ass-kicking.

Ever since the trained martial artist used his knowledge a little too literally filming Rocky IV - putting Stallone in hospital for 4 days! - the sinewy Swedish star has been perpetually turning it up to 11 on the Expendables macho rating.


Wesley Snipes - Doc

Wesley Snipes was originally set to star in The Expendables, but turned down the role. Luckily, Stallone got him this time...and, what a catch! Snipes has a black belt in two different types of martial art: Karate and Hapkido.

What's more, the guy may have aged a from the days of punching vampires on the nose in Blade, but now he's a knife nut who's been isolated for 8 years, gone a little crazy, and starts cutting people's throats even before the opening credits... Jeez!


Antonio Banderas - Galgo

Before joining Stallone in The Expendables, Banderas appeared opposite him in Assassins. But, American audiences fell in love with his smooth-talking side when he played Zorro and Puss in Boots. In fact, our favorite Spanish heartthrob turning commando wasn't something we expected!

Still, every scene he's in in The Expendables 3 contributes intelligence and humor to the flick. That is, every scene Banderas is in that's not jammed with over-the-top violence (seriously, MPAA, what were you smoking when you decided to make this movie a PG-13!?).


Mel Gibson - Stonebanks

Mel Gibson may have been the new addition to the cast, but he sure knows his way around an action film. His breakthrough came starring in the Mad Max series as a postapocalyptic survivor, and of course he's also famous for the Lethal Weapon series...and Braveheart.

So, what better man to crack the nostalgic franchise up a notch or five with Sugar-tits' stupefying temper and hatred for...well, pretty much everybody. His appearance in The Expendables 3 was the icing on the kick-ass cake for me.


Sylvester Stallone - Barney Ross

Stallone has had his share of ups (Rocky) and downs (Rhinestone) over the years, but the biceps never stopped bulging. Sly is the glue that holds the group together, he wrote the story and screenplay of The Expendables and it's almost an autobiography because he has starred in so many action roles.

You can always tell if the Stallone movie will be good by the name of his character if you can name your dog it (Rocky, Rambo, Freddy) then it will be an awesome movie. Barney is absolutely no exception to the rule.



Who's your favorite Expendables hard-man?

(Source: Time)


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