Anyone who reads this blog knows I love Stallone. I come back to him again and again and again because he’s been planted a lot of conservative seeds in the minds of young men over the years—seeds that have been fruitful. The Expendables 2 is starting to fire up its engines, and so it must be covered.
When The Expendables hit theaters last summer, it seemed like virtually every action star of a certain age dropped by to flex their biceps and kick some keister. But apparently writer-director-star Sylvester Stallone still thinks there’s room for more macho men in the upcoming sequel. In a recent interview with EW, Stallone said that not only would Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger have meatier parts the second go-round, but that he’s also added Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme to the mix and, fingers crossed, we may even see Nicolas Cage and John Travolta getting in on the mayhem, too.
“John Travolta”? No one’s perfect. Nicolas Cage is a wild card… so I’ll withhold judgement.
The great thing about Stallone is that he writes movies with Americans who are big and bold and sure of themselves. He writes about characters who know what they believe and why they believe it. They have a big heart, but they also have big guns. Moral relativism is nowhere to be found. Characters must grind through tough times to persevere, and even when they lose the audience knows that there can be honor in defeat.
Film snobs and elitist jerks make fun of Stallone, but in between the blood and guts and greased up muscles is often some great writing that can only come from the heart. There are plenty of iconic Stallone scenes, but how many kids went to the theater and were deeply affected by the father/son speech in Rocky 6? I’d bet a good many. In it, Stallone presents a door to conservatism—it’s just up to the viewer to recognize it and walk through.
When The Expendables 2 comes out I’ll be there on opening night, if for no other reason than because I think Sly is a stand up guy who deserves to be supported. He’s a rarity in Hollywood: a conservative who makes entertaining films.