Chemical engineer-turned action icon Dolph Lundgren's latest role is whipping Volvo Construction Equipment's line of excavators—weighing 1 to 95 tons—into shape. The pairing of Sweden's toughest, most resilient machine and Volvo is quite possibly the most satisfying construction equipment video since the classic Chinese front end loader brawl of 2016.
"Being born in Sweden, I have a long relationship with this classic Swedish brand," says Lundgren, who earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. "As a young boy, I rode in the back of my dad's Volvo. To me, Volvo represents some great Scandinavian values, like clean design, excellent quality and a true care for the environment. I'm really pleased to get this opportunity for us to work together."
The cheeky homage to Lundgren's curriculum vitae, which includes such classics as Rocky IV, Universal Soldier and of course, Kindergarten Cop 2, is worth more than a few chuckles. For those looking at investing in or renting these types of heavy equipment, ranging from compact to wheeled to crawler, this cross-fit demo show shows the versatility, maneuverability, and sheer power.
Volvo points out that the excavator pull-up, (performed by trained stunt drivers, so please don't attempt), was the first of its kind.
"Some of these stunts are a little out of the ordinary, but we wanted to be daring and set ourselves a challenge to push them further," says Bill Law, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Volvo CE. "Our excavators work hard every day at construction sites all over the world, something that requires precisely that power and stamina, together with skilled operators behind the wheel."
Besides marketing Volvo CE's rugged squad, the video could conceivably become a great tool for promoting the construction trade. About 43% of the construction industry has a difficult time hiring heavy equipment operators, according to a 2016 Associated General Contractors of America study. In a world dominated by tiny screens and tedious office jobs, not to mention crippling student loan debts, showing off the pure joy of working outside and moving earth all day certainly couldn't hurt recruitment.
It certainly left an indelible mark on the action movie icon, who left behind MIT and a Fulbright scholarship in the mid-1980s to become a James Bond henchman in A View to Kill, and Capt. Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.
"It was fascinating to see Volvo's excavators and its skilled operators performing all the various physical exercises—with absolutely no movie stunts involved," the 60-year-old says. "Honestly, I didn't think it was even possible."
If the man who took down Apollo Creed and Skeletor approves, you'd have to be a pretty awful parent to tell your kid not to at least consider the construction trade. It's unlikely that Lundgren's job is up for grabs.
"This job was probably the most unusual role I've ever taken on," says the former bodyguard for Grace Jones, despite last year appearing in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming.