Character Cage Match: The Expendables vs. Rise of the Guardians
11.23.12 by Ryan
Sylvester Stallone set up a successful franchise for himself and his fellow aging action stars with 2010's The Expendables, adding even more elder ass-kickers for The Expendables 2, which arrived on DVD and Blu-Ray this week. The success of the Expendables sequel has made an Expendables 3 a near certainty, but, while Stallone and his crew stretch and take their Motrin in preparation for their next assignment, an even older group of warriors is entering theaters this weekend in Rise of the Guardians.
Based on William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series, Rise of the Guardians follows the centuries-old team of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and new recruit Jack Frost as they protect the children of the world against the nefarious Boogeyman. With both movies arriving this week, we put the two oldest teams up against one another. Will Arnold Schwarzenegger terminate Jack Frost? Will Jason Statham transport Santa and his sleigh into hell? Who will die hard against Bruce Willis? Only you can decide the fate of these puns in our character cage match!
The Rules: Any battle between teams will inevitably see individuals fight one at a time, so we have paired the most compatible characters together. Consider each match up before you make your final decision!
Match #1: Barney Ross (Stallone) and Trench Mauser (Schwarzenegger) vs. Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine)
Jack Frost's Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis: While Santa is the de facto leader of the Guardians, it's Jack Frost that commands much of the movie's attention, being the latest addition to the team. While Frost is hundreds of years old, he is stuck in eternal teenage mode, inspiring kids to take advantage of winter's positives, like snow ball fights and extreme sledding. That mischievous nature can also be his undoing, as Frost lacks maturity, despite being around for centuries, and confidence in himself. Frost will also be particularly difficult to find, as many don't believe Jack Frost is a person, rather just an idea.
Frost's primary weapon is his staff, which he uses to touch objects and freeze them or to hook onto objects or people. Despite its magical properties, the staff is not indestructible and should be the focus of any attack against him.
Ross and Mauser's Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis: Tough as nails and seemingly good at everything, Ross and Mauser often find themselves working together despite being rival mercenaries-for-hire. As good with a gun as they are with their fists, there doesn't seem to be much Ross and Mauser aren't good at, with the exception that Ross is looking to get out of the merc business in The Expendables 2, and Mauser, as Ross points out in The Expendables, has an ego with aspirations for the office of President.
Expect a long, drawn out match, with Ross and Mauser's experience battling against Frost's youthful inexperience.
Match #2: Lee Christmas (Statham) vs. Santa Claus (voiced by Alec Baldwin)
Santa Claus' Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis: Jolly old St. Nick hails from Russia, and still spends most of his time keeping his elves and yetis in line while preparing for the big day. However, when presented with a battle, Santa uses two curved swords to take down his enemies. Santa also employs a giant, flying sleigh, and can use a tiny globe that opens up a portal that can send him anywhere around the world.
This is a theme among the Guardians, but Santa draws his strength from people's belief in him, and can be made powerless if that belief is gone. That could be used to Christmas' advantage (the character, not the holiday).
Lee Christmas' Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis: Not only chosen to for his name, Christmas is, like Santa, a blade expert, preferring knives to Santa's swords. For good measure, Christmas is also no stranger to the martial arts, which should come in handy when dealing with the less-mobile Santa. Also, while we might be mixing franchises, Christmas likely won't be thrown off when Santa breaks out his sleigh, as Christmas, like Statham's other franchise counterpart, is pretty good with various methods of transportation.
Christmas won't be thrown at fighting a group, and this may become an issue when Santa unleashes his yetis on Christmas. Also, during the fight, Christmas will have to reconcile whether he minds having a less than merry, er, Christmas.
Match #3: Yin Yang (Jet Li) vs. the Easter Bunny (voiced by Hugh Jackman)
The Easter Bunny's Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis: Measuring around six-feet tall, the Easter Bunny hails from Australia where he learned a thing or two about wielding a boomerang. Quick on his feet and able to jump over large distances, the Easter Bunny can also use a variety of eggs as weapons and employs large egg-shaped statues if need be. Also, the Easter Bunny's ability to hide things really well could come back to haunt his opponent, especially if what he hides is one of his underground portals that he uses to travel the world with.
Like his Guardian counterparts, the Easter Bunny requires people to believe in him to remain strong. Without it, he can become quite diminutive, though his cuddle-factor goes way, way up.
Yin Yang's Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis: A hand-to-hand combat specialist, Ying Yang was the best candidate to take on the Easter Bunny, due to his speed and agility. While the height difference could be seen as an advantage for the Easter Bunny, it would be good to remember that being shorter didn't stop Yang from being able to defeat the taller Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren). Well, maybe he wasn't successful every time, but still.
Expect another long fight with whatever environment they are in to be used to the fullest. Hopefully a warehouse filled with barrels, chains with hooks and stacks of boxes.
Match #4: Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Mr. Church (Willis) vs. The Sandman
The Sandman's Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis: It might seem unfair to pit three against one, but the Sandman is perhaps the mightiest of the Guardians. Seemingly simple and innocent, The Sandman doesn't speak, but can make his presence known on the battlefield by creating objects out of sand (including very effective whips) and can put his opponents (or companions if the need arises) to sleep.
While The Sandman proves that big things do indeed come in small packages, The Sandman can be overcome by heavy dose fear, which may be unleashed by three of the Expendables.
Hale Caesar, Toll Road and Mr. Church's Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis: In order to defeat the Sandman, the Expendables will literally have to send out the big guns: heavy-weapons specialist Hale Caesar, demolitions expert Toll Road and mysterious CIA agent Mr. Church. The trio will need to continually hear explosions to keep The Sandman from sending them all to dream-land.
The biggest danger in putting them all together is the possibility of them blowing each other up. The Sandman is a small target for such heavy artillery, and they'll need to proceed with a small dose of caution to go along with blowing up everything in sight.
Match #5 Gunner Jensen (Lundgren) vs. The Tooth Fairy (voiced by Isla Fisher)
The Tooth Fairy's Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis Part human and part...hummingbird (yes, hummingbird), the Tooth Fairy is still a force to be reckoned with, especially when you consider that she has an army of mini-fairies working for her and holds everyone's childhood memories in their lost teeth. No matter how tough the opponent, anyone can be toppled when faced with an emotional memory from their youth.
Still, the Tooth Fairy's weakness is a part of her strength in that if one can capture her little mini-fairies, she'll no doubt find herself in a compromised position.
Gunner Jensen's Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis: In what is truly a match-up of loose cannons, Jensen's specialty is being the most unstable member of the group. He's used to fighting someone smaller than himself (Yang), and might be too nuts to be influenced by a childhood memory.
As much as being unstable can be a strength in battle, it can also be a risk, especially when one has to focus in order to catch an opponent that can fly. Crazy people aren't known for their precision.