Guns, muscles and brotherhood – these are three elements that define every man-centric action film. Be it through elaborate stunts, outlandish weapon tricks or a good old fight sequence, these adrenaline-driven flicks never fail to deliver a hefty dose of excitement and testosterone, blended together to create an electrifying experience. While there is usually one leading guy whose character does all of the above, it is not uncommon to have a movie revolve around a whole crew fighting together for a common cause. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest return to the action scene, the David Ayer-directed Sabotage, does just that. Ditching his traditional lone wolf persona, Schwarzenegger is joined by action favourites Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello and Josh Holloway, forming a dream team of Hollywood tough guys.
To celebrate the release, FilmJuice looks at some of the best teams of tough lads in recent Hollywood history, combining wit and hundreds of kilos of comparable muscle to fight together against the bad guys.
The Fast & The Furious
The Fast and the Furious franchise is pretty much the epitome of the tough guy crew action film. In fact, it even takes things to the next level by adding its trademark elements of car porn thanks to a rich ensemble of awesomely customized vehicles. The original film had Paul Walker join Vin Diesel’s crew of car-stealing thugs which included bad boys Rick Yune, Johnny Strong, Matt Schulze and Chad Lindberg. With every additional film, more tough guys were added to the list, including Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson and Ludacris, among others.
When The Expendables hit cinemas in 2010, it made thousands of action aficionados of all ages jump with joy as it finally brought together some (almost all, really) of the biggest names in the genre. Led by Sylvester Stallone, the film’s leading gang included action veterans Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Terry Crews and Randy Couture. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, the bad guy was played by none other than B-movie action regular Eric Roberts and there were notable cameos by action staples such as Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. Unsurprisingly, the team proved so popular with audiences that it spawned two sequels, adding action stars like Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Wesley Snipes to the roster.
Clark Johnson’s action thriller about a Special Weapons and Tactics team from Los Angeles hit all the right notes when it came to casting its group of toughies. At the centre of the plot was Colin Farrell, who was one of Hollywood’s brightest rising stars at the time, backed by audience-favourite LL Cool J and action movie veteran Samuel L. Jackson. Rounding up the bunch with Josh Charles and Brian Van Holt, S.W.A.T. gave movie-goers one of the best tough guy teams Hollywood has ever put together. That’s the main reason we wish the sequel everyone was talking about back then came to fruition.
Leave it to Quentin Tarantino to put together a team of guys so effortlessly exquisite and seamlessly diverse that it makes you wonder how no-one had thought of it before. In true Tarantino fashion, there are no pretty boys or wannabe actors. Instead, his tough guy team features only established old-school Hollywood bad boys whose charisma and natural delivery of the writer/director’s brilliant script make up for what they lack in physical stamina. In addition to himself, Tarantino made sure to get only the best-suited actors for the roles of the diamond-stealing group: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi… Only a glance at this list is enough to evoke respect and ignite the interest of a true crime movie lover.
The Italian Job
F. Gary Gray’s The Italian Job remake had a little bit of everything needed to attract audiences – beautiful locations (Venice, anyone?), awesome car stunts (those Mini Coopers surely can fit through anywhere) and a gorgeous leading lady (Hello, Charlize!). However, one of the main things that stood out was the ongoing bromance between its leading men Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham, Mos Def and Seth Green. After being betrayed by Edward Norton’s character at the beginning of the film, the guys bond together against their common enemy, demonstrating the true value of brotherhood.
Pain & Gain
Of course, if we are talking about tough guys it is only natural that we are going to mention Mark Wahlberg more than once. In Michael Bay’s 2013 action comedy Pain & Gain, Wahlberg is united with WWE alumnus Dwayne Johnson and action movie regular Anthony Mackie, with all three of them packing enough muscle to challenge a whole army. As bodybuilders-turned-kidnappers, the trio demonstrated that, while muscles give you physical advantage and make you look good, if their size is not proportionate to what’s in your head, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise as life goes on.
Sabotage marks not only Arnold Schwarzenegger’s long-awaited return to his action roots but director David Ayer’s action thriller, Schwarzenegger allows Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Terrence Howard and Josh Holloway to join him as they go after a mysterious assassin who is trying to get rid of them one by one. With an awesome team like that, the movie easily keeps action lovers excited and on the edge of their seats.
Sabotage is coming to Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms on 15th September 2014 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.