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Action Round-Up #15

04.24.2009by: Eric Walkuski

Statham becomes THE MECHANIC

A few months ago, a sharp reader "spat a bullet" in my REEL ACTION: THE MECHANIC article, noting that a remake of the über-cool Charles Bronson flick was inevitable. How right he was. It was just announced the other day that indeed we will be seeing a MECHANIC for the twitter age, as Production Weekly, well, tweeted (ugh) the news that Jason Statham and Simon West (CON AIR) are collaborating on the update.

If you're not familiar with the plot, THE MECHANIC follows the timeless "hitman on his last job" tale, with Bronson as an aging assassin training a cocky young understudy, who naturally may be his undoing. I assume Statham will be portraying the Bronson character, let's hope the protege doesn't end up being someone lame. Also, let's hope it retains some 70s cool, instead of just resembling your typical Statham asskicker. (Those have their place, of course, but this should be something different.)

WANTED 2 gets a writer

When you think WANTED, you think POOH'S HEFFALUMP MOVIE. Dunno what the f*ck I'm talking about? Turns out Universal is going forward with the sequel to last summer's moderately successful WANTED, and to guide the story, they've hired a writer named Evan Spiliotopoulos. Spiliotopoulos' filmography - aside from the Winnie the Pooh epic - includes THE LITTLE MERMAID: ARIEL'S BEGINNING, MICKEY, DONALD, GOOFY: THE THREE MUSKATEERS, and TINKER BELL AND THE LOST TREASURE. Naturally, those credits spell BADASS!

But Mark Millar, creator of WANTED and producer on the sequel, isn't worried about it. On his message board, Millar warned against all the hatin', saying “This guy is supposed to be really good. He did a GREAT action script recently (on an unproduced movie) and that’s what got him this gig.” Well, okay. As long as he's supposed to be good. I just wonder if Tigger will show up as a blood-soaked assassin...


No, you're not imagining things, that's an official still from UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE NEXT GENERATION. (Yeah the title blows, just roll with it.)

In case you're worried that Dolph and JCVD are going to be all buddy-buddy in this latest installment in the surprisingly durable franchise, I'll just cut to the chase and introduce you to the plotline for this film, which will hopefully punch us in the face sometime later this year:

A crazed Chechen nationalist, BASAYEV, seizes control of Chernobyl, site of the infamous nuclear meltdown, and threatens to unleash a radioactive cloud unless his nationalist blackmail demands are met.

LUC DEVEREAUX (Jean-Claude Van Damme) joins a U.S. team of revived UniSoldiers secretly held in deep storage. Their mission: retake Chernobyl and disable explosives that will unleash the radioactive clouds. Luc is surprised when he finds one of the reactivated UniSoldiers is a clone of his old Sergeant, ANDREW SCOTT (Dolph Lundgren). But the cloned Andrew has no recollection of Luc.

As the team furiously battles its way into the Chernobyl plant, they are caught off guard. Using a mind-control chip, Baseyev turns Andrew against his own comrades. Now surrounded, wounded, and out-numbered, Luc must battle Andrew, and save the world.


Sorry, I got your hopes up this time, didn't I? Now you know how I felt when I first read the news of a potential team-up between the Pony-tailed One and the Muscles from Brussels. Last week IGN slapped us with the news that the two would appear together in WEAPON, only to later issue a retraction, saying it wasn't official, no deals have been signed, etc...

BUT that doesn't mean it can't happen, and maybe all of the cock-teasing will have been worth it if the news hits that it's good to go. We shall wait and see, but I for one may not even be able to handle the prospect of JCVD appearing in a flick with Seagal and a flick with Dolph... Only a time machine would be able to further hurtle me back to the early 90s.

For now, here's the synopsis for WEAPON: Jack Conway (Steven Seagal) and Derek Chase (Jean Claude Van Damme) are the two best assassins in the world — but unknown to each other. While Conway is a master sharpshooter, Chase is equally skilled with a knife. These two rival assassins form an uneasy alliance to take down the head of a drug cartel, which is backed by the DEA.


Obviously, this is the Van Damme edition of ACTION R.U. Actually, this is just a reminder to all those who haven't seen J.C.V.D. that the much-praised existential-action-comedy-drama will be hitting DVD this Tuesday, APRIL 28th. And don't feel bad if you're among those who missed the boat the first time around, I too have yet to see the damned thing! I know, I'ma baaaad Action Round-Up writer... (The Arrow, however, has seen it, and you can peep his review HERE.)


Source: AITH



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