Expendables stars rumble into town

STELLAR LINE-UP: (From left) Lundgren, Statham, Ford, Gibson, Ronda Rousey, Stallone and Snipes arriving on the Croisette in Cannes to promote The Expendables 3 on Sunday.


    May 20, 2014

    Expendables stars rumble into town


    TANKS rolled down the beachfront in Cannes on Sunday, as Sylvester Stallone led an invasion of action stars "with arthritis" to publicise The Expendables 3.

    Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson waved at fans from three tanks as they were driven slowly down the main boulevard in the French Riviera town where the international film festival was in its fifth day.

    Later, when the cast of the film walked the red carpet at the main festival venue, they held up signs saying "Bring back our girls", in support of a campaign to free the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militants.

    The film, which is not in competition, also features Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and Wesley Snipes

    The cast was asked by reporters to describe just what makes a good action star. "You have to be incredibly intelligent, handsome, sexy, good teeth, high IQ, a lot of hair...," Stallone joked.

    "What makes the audience like a person, it's not a matter of muscles," he told a news conference. "There's something that's almost intangible and I don't know what it is, but I know it's very rare because there have been only about 15 action heroes, real serious ones, in history."

    Stallone, one of the film's writers, said it took three movies to get the Expendables formula just right, judging the first as being too violent and the second too soft.

    "I believe we finally got it right in the third one - kind of like marriage."

    Stallone acknowledged that he and the rest of the cast belonged to a "different generation", but still had the energy and drive to make an exciting, contemporary film.

    "We're all like very adult children," he said. "We are children with arthritis. We are young forever."

    The third instalment of the franchise sees Barney Ross (Stallone) bringing in new blood to his team of mercenaries to take on Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), a former comrade now seeking to eradicate the group.

    One of the newbies is played by Kelsey Grammar, best known for his role as the pompous psychiatrist on the television sitcom Frasier.

    Expendables 3 was not the only big-budget franchise trying to grab attention at the festival.

    The cast of the latest Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 1, paraded for photographers on Saturday night, advertising the film due for release in November.

    When Jennifer Lawrence, who plays protagonist Katniss Everdeen, was asked why there should be so much fuss about a film not even showing at the festival, the actress was quick with a response: "Because so much money went into it."

    "I'm kidding!" she added. REUTERS