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Action Hero Fantasy Draft

Troy Mathew, Sam Stryker, Chris Allen, Kevin Noonan | Friday, October 5, 2012

With the release of “Taken 2” this weekend and Liam Neeson’s transformation into full-fledged action star, the recent release of “Expendables 2” and another Bond movie on the way, the Scene decided to take a look at some of our favorite heroes. And, because we could, we did a fantasy draft. First, Scene Editor Kevin Noonan explains the rules and regulations:

“I don’t make the rules, ma’am, I just think them up and write them down.” – Eric Cartman

1. The objective of the draft is to create the ultimate team of action heroes, based on the following criteria:
a. How would they fare in a street fight?
b. How successful have their films been?
c. Can they deliver lines that make you shake in your boots?
d. How straight up and down cool are they?
e. Or anything else, I don’t really care.

2. There will be 5 rounds, with pick order determined randomly (I will determine pick order). The draft will follow a serpentine order, meaning the order of each round will proceed in reverse order of the previous one.

3. Each team will consist of one veteran star or former star, one current star, one future prospect, one female star and one utility player that can fit any role.

4. Picks must be for real action stars (sorry, Michael Cera), and if it’s on the border (Michael Fassbender) you must be able to defend their legitimacy as action heroes (“Jane Eyre,” Fassbender? Come on now).

5. Leonardo DiCaprio cannot be picked. I do not like him.

With that said here’s the draft order:
1. Troy Mathew
2. Sam Stryker
3. Chris Allen
4. Kevin Noonan
KN: Troy, you’re on the clock.

Round 1

Pick 1 (Troy Mathew): Daniel Craig, current star

TM: For the first overall draft pick, I select a current A-lister, Daniel Craig. He’s replaced the ridiculous cheesiness of Pierce Brosnan and starred in solid entries to the Bond canon.

KN: I’d call that a little bit of a surprise. Has he done anything outside of Bond?

SS: After “Quantum of Solace” I’d say he needs to focus on making better Bond films, not aiding the Queen to enter the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.

TM: “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” y’all.

CA: Sean Connery is shaking his head, somewhere.

SS: And his martini.

Pick 2 (Sam Stryker): Angelina Jolie, current star

SS: Girl power! For my first pick, I am selecting Angelina Jolie. She kicks some solid butt and looks stellar doing it. She’s starred in such high-octane action flicks as “Salt,” “Wanted,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” and the outrageous “Tomb Raider” movies. Not to mention the fact she’s matched up with the likes of Gerard Butler, Clive Owen, Brad Pitt – all potential picks – and the aforementioned Daniel Craig in her action flicks. And hey, those lips…

CA: Somewhere, Jennifer Aniston is shaking her head.

KN: She could beat me up.

TM: She’s so frail! I was laughing during “Salt” as she flipped 200-pound men.

SS: I believe the correct term is “trim,” Troy.

TM: I think her most deadly attack would be slicing people with her protruding bones. FRAIL.

KN: That or home wrecking.

SS: Or she could just adopt you.

Pick 3 (Chris Allen): Arnold Schwarzenegger, veteran

CA: I’m building my team around one basic factor– muscle. Who better to start my team with than the godfather of girth himself, the master of mass, Arnold Schwarzenegger? Behind Arnold’s bulging physique and gubernatorial credentials, my team will push your teams around. This is over. Or should I say, hasta la vista, baby.

SS: Solid pick, but he does have a blemish on his career – anyone remember his role as “Mr. Freeze” in “Batman & Robin”?

KN: Chris, if you’re building your team purely on muscle, I can’t wait to see who your female pick is.

SS: Probably Brigitte Nielsen. 

Pick 4 (Kevin Noonan): Joseph Gordon-Levitt, future prospect

KN: I’m a Kansas City Royals fan, all I know is building for the future. I’ve got my eye on an exciting prospect that my team will one day be centered around (or I’ll trade to the Yankees)–Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

SS: You and Christopher Nolan both. I’m confused, are we supposed to hope he’s the next Batman, or Robin? Or both?

CA: Your No. 1 action star sang a sing-along with cartoon birds just a few years ago. In case you forgot.

SS: You just made all three of the hipsters on campus really happy with your pick, Kevin.

KN: Hate away, haters. He’s a prospect; he’s a little rough around the edges.

TM: “500 Days of Summer” is the antithesis of action movie.

Round 2

Pick 1 (Kevin Noonan): Will Smith, current star

KN: I might have gone out on a little bit of a limb with my first pick, so I’m looking for a little more consistency with my second–Will Smith.

SS: Welcome to Miami, Kevin. Or the Wild, Wild West. I’m lukewarm on this pick. He’s done so much, yet so little with his career. This is like picking vanilla as your favorite flavor of ice cream.

TM: So not jiggy with this pick.

KN: Vanilla is my favorite flavor. Also, “Independence Day,” I rest my case.

CA: I like the pick. Will Smith would get absolutely squashed by my muscle men, though. Speaking of which, it’s my pick.

Pick 2 (Chris Allen): Hugh Jackman, current star

CA: My current star has been all over the place in the past few years, from hosting the Oscars to generally tearing things up as Wolverine. He adds some more bulk to my team of muscular superheroes, and he’s Australian. Hugh Jackman is my second pick.

SS: He also has hosted the Tony’s multiple times, so there is that.

KN: I feel like Hugh Jackman would beat me up, then nurse me back to health and make me chicken noodle soup and sing me uplifting songs. Whatever though, I like it.

SS: At least he brings some vocal ability to your team, Chris.

TM: Solid pick, literally and figuratively.

Pick 3 (Sam Stryker): Jennifer Lawrence, future prospect

SS: I volunteer as tribute Jennifer Lawrence for my up-and-coming star pick. She bested the field in “The Hunger Games” and starred as the villainess Mystique in “X-Men: Origins.” If you can hang with the District 2 Tributes and Magneto, you’re good enough for my team. And boy, the things she can do with a bow and arrow. She even has an Oscar nomination.  Like Jolie, she can match any man punch-for-punch, she’s well-spoken and she looks fresh off the red carpet. Beauty, brawn and brains: the three b’s make Jennifer Lawrence my next pick. May the odds be ever in my favor.

KN: I’m bummed, this was my female pick for sure.

CA: Miss Lawrence is a great pick, having also starred in some decidedly non-action movies like “Winter’s Bone.” But she’s moving onto the A-list quickly. And she’s beautiful. Good pick.

Pick 4 (Troy Mathew): Uma Thurman, female star

TM: Since the well is running dry for action stars without a y chromosome, I’m going to snag mine now. Man hands aside, Uma Thurman is my choice, having starred in Tarantino’s hugely popular “Kill Bill” franchise. Although she is no longer particularly active in the Hollywood game, “Kill Bill” is a cult favorite and an all-around solid set of films. Uma, drive over to my team.

SS: Exceptional pick. Uma Thurman is six feet of Quentin Tarantino-engineered sword-wielding craziness. She’s one part Victoria’s Secret model and one part ninja.

KN: She scares the living daylights out of me. Good pick.

TM: Her giant hands are more than capable of that. Next pick coming in a sec.

Round 3

Pick 1 (Troy Mathew): Sylvester Stallone, veteran

TM: For my old-timer choice, I select Sylvester Stallone. With his lopsided and strangely-botoxed face, he has the look of a Hollywood veteran, and is still relevant today, having recently starred in “The Expendables.” Having starred in all the “Rocky” films as well as “Rambo,” he’s a solid choice for this point in the draft.

CA: I think it is obvious you just stole a top pick on my muscle depth chart.

Pick 2 (Sam Stryker): Sean Connery, veteran

SS: Troy, I’m going to one-up you with my classic action star pick and I’m going to take the REAL James Bond. Nobody does it better than Sean Connery, the original. From the fast cars to the tuxedos to the gadgets to the gorgeous women, Connery not only set the bar for all subsequent Bonds. He established what it really means to be an action star. It isn’t just about punching guys or shooting a gun. He always put country and Queen first. His bowtie was always perfectly tied, his martini always shaken, not stirred. Beyond Bond, Connery was deemed to be worthy of being Indiana Jones’ dad. That’s when you know you have made it in the action world. He’s got the veteran skills to lead my team.

CA: Shocking, positively shocking. Mr. Connery, as tough with his words as he is with his awesome train kicks in “From Russia, With Love.”

Pick 3 (Chris Allen): Liam Neeson, utility player

CA: These have been some nice picks so far. Some notable stars, each with a great resume and respectable action abilities. But my next pick has a very particular set of skills. Skills he has acquired over a very long career. Skills that will make a nightmare for your teams. He trained Batman, voiced Aslan and was in Star Wars. He’s going to find you, and he’s going to kill you. Liam Neeson is the next action star … taken.

KN: Great pick, terrible pun.

SS: And that just happened. Anyone who starred in “Love, Actually” is always a winner in my book.

Pick 4 (Kevin Noonan): Clint Eastwood, veteran

KN: I’m frankly shocked he’s still on the board to be honest. Dirty Harry, himself–Clint Eastwood. Let’s ignore his RNC chair stunt; the guy has been defining what it means to be an action star for five decades. Age hasn’t stopped him either. “Gran Torino” is one of the toughest, coolest movies he’s been in, and he did it at 78 years old.

CA: Also the best director to be chosen thus far, by a wide, wide, wide margin.

SS: Clint is like a bottle of fine wine. He’s only gotten better with age. And I love wine.

TM: He’s crotchety personified and I like it. Nice selection.

Round 4

Pick 1 (Kevin Noonan): Jessica Alba, female star

KN: I’ve been struggling with my female star pick since Sam snagged Jennifer Lawrence so early in the draft, but then I remembered Golden Globe nominated actress Jessica Alba. I feel like she’s been off the radar for a few years (other than the violently terrific “Machete”) but she showed her action movie skills in “Sin City.” Plus she’s just so, so, sooooo … talented.

TM: She was in “Fantastic Four” too. She is certainly nice to look at, but isn’t much besides that.

CA: To be honest, she was pretty tough in “Sin City.” Love the Alba pick.

SS: Does she kick butt like some of the other available ladies out there? No, and I’m about to prove it with my next pick.

Pick 2 (Chris Allen): Chris Hemsworth, future prospect

CA: So let’s see … I need to fill my up-and-coming young guy role. I need to add some more muscle to my dream team, and I need someone who’s shown the ability to wreak some havoc. My next pick is a real-life Norse god in the flesh, Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth showed an absolute mean streak as the star of “Thor” and backed that up in “The Avengers.” And he’s so, so much cooler than his brother.

SS: True that. Already he gets bonus points for not being engaged to Hannah Montana. Excuse me, Miley Cyrus.

KN: I like this pick. As both the god of thunder and Captain Kirk’s dad, he’s got a strong pedigree of action stardom.

Pick 3 (Sam Stryker): Halle Berry, female star

SS: As if my team needed an additional shot of estrogen my next pick is the bodacious Halle Berry. She’s done it all: Catwoman, X-Men and Bond girl. Really, what more could you ask of her? She’s also an Oscar-winning actress. She wins fights, men’s hearts AND Academy Awards. Oh, and she completes secret agent missions in a bikini. Try that one, Hugh Jackman.

KN: I could ask her to go back in time and not do “Catwoman.” That movie was almost unforgivable in my book.

SS: Bad things happen to good people. Even to Halle Berry.

KN: Only because of Anne Hathaway in “The Dark Knight Rises,” I’ll forgive her.

Pick 4 (Troy Mathew): Jamie Foxx, future prospect

TM: While this up-and-comer pick is not an obvious choice, he’s a great addition to my team. He’s already proven his acting chops with solid roles in “Ray” and “Collateral.” Yes, Jamie Foxx. He’s starring in the upcoming Tarantino flick, “Django Unchained.” The movie, also known as “Inglorious Basterds” with slave owners instead of Nazis, is sure to be fantastic. Also, he already has a famous catch phrase from the starring role. The ‘D’ is silent, and his future in action movies is bright.

SS: He’s a borderline pick in my book. Good, but not great. He’s the type of player who might get away from the Royals, but wouldn’t be worthy of the Yankees’ checkbook.

KN: I disagree Sam; I like this pick. Obviously it’s a prospect pick, but Foxx has proven a decent actor, and “Collateral” was one of his best performances and showed he can do action with the best of them. Plus, if anybody can make somebody an action star, it’s Tarantino. I think after “Django” comes out this will look like a great pick.

SS: “Collateral” was a great role, but basically he was dealing with a crazy Tom Cruise for two hours. Katie Holmes did it for six years, and no one has picked her yet.

CA: Foxx gets major bonus points for making incredibly off-color jokes in front of professional athletes at the ESPYS.

Round 5

Pick 1 (Troy Mathew): Christian Bale, utility player

TM: There’s been a lot of talk about the Batman franchise, but I’m choosing the source of the indiscernible growl itself. Christian Bale is my next choice, given his career-defining, starring role in Nolan’s trilogy. Also, considering his performances in “Terminator Salvation,” “3:10 to Yuma,” and “American Psycho,” he’s too good not to take. He does it all – method acting, action flicks and pretentious Oscar-worthy films. He’s got a warehouse of deadly gadgets, uncontrollable real-life rage and a spot on my fantasy team.

CA: Christian has fluctuated from 130 pounds to 210 pounds for what seems like half a dozen times. I would absolutely love to see him train to lose 80 pounds for a role.

Pick 2 (Sam Stryker): Tom Cruise, utility player

SS: My final wild card pick goes to Tom Cruise. And boy, is he a wild card. If chairs are Clint Eastwood’s kryptonite, then keep Cruise away from couches. But he’s starred in the “Mission Impossible” films, “War of the Worlds” and “Top Gun.” Yes, he is certifiably insane and he believes in an alien God or something like that (yay, Scientology!) But guess what? Even pushing 50 years of age, this guy is still a bona-fide action star.

KN: My father might disown me for saying this, but I love Tom Cruise. I love his movies, I love his his wild, screaming rant at Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men.” I don’t care if he goes full-tilt Mel Gibson on us later in life, I like the pick.

TM: Anyone who had a role in producing queen of the universe Suri Cruise is good in my book, and his use of “glib” is just another plus.

CA: Just like a roller coaster, my team has a height requirement, a mark that Cruise would not reach. Not even close.

Pick 3 (Chris Allen): Gina Carano, female star

CA: So I guess I need a girl on my muscle team. This is an easy pick and a bit of a sleeper. MMA star Gina Carano defines the modern butt-kicking female. She’ll be starring in the next “Fast and the Furious” film and also is the lead in a film that is being called the female version of “The Expendables”. You might remember her turning ordinary Janes into roadkill on “American Gladiators”. Look for her star to blow up in the next couple years.

KN: I’m all about this pick; I was real close to picking Gina. She’s got the “talent” of Jessica Alba and the fierceness to grapple with any of these action stars.

Pick 4 (Kevin Noonan): Nicolas Cage, utility player

KN: Last pick in the draft, so who’s Mr. Irrelevant? I want to pick Bruce Willis, because “Die Hard” is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, but I can’t bestow that title on Officer John McClain. He’d show up at my door in a wife-beater tee and make fun of me before blasting me away. And so, with the last pick in the draft–Nicolas Cage. Because screw it, why not?

SS: Either way, a winning pick. But I love the choice of Nic Cage. Who can forget the “National Treasure” movies? They got me through my awkward middle school years, braces and all.

KN: And I’d like to nominate “Con Air” for greatest movie ever in ever.