Certainly Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger brought Cannes to a standstill earlier today when they rode down the Croisette on a tank with their co-stars and one of these, Ronda Rousey, explained why the two older action heros are so popular, she says they are real men. Or at least what should be seen as real men as opposed to anorexic younger males who wear women’s skinny jeans whilst texting on their cell phones.
There may be something to what the martial arts champion believes to be the appeal of the Expendables franchise. The 27 year-old professional sportswoman is making her film debut in Stallone’s latest offering, The Expendables 3. Since Ronda’s nicknames include the violent sounding “Rowdy,” “Rowdy Ronda”, and “The Arm Collector” she may prefer her men to be more masculine and bit beefier than the average young man who aspires to fit into his girlfriend’s jeans.
Since most of the older cast members in Stallone’s film were “action men” back in the 1980’s and the younger members, like Jason Statham, would not look out of place in those “old” films, like Rambo and Lethal Weapon, the younger martial arts expert could be making a point about “retro” men versus the modern more feminised version.
Sylvester Stallone is 67 years-old, one year older than his old rival Schwarzenegger and several years ahead of most of his co-stars, but in terms of machismo, he shows no sign of stopping. Although it must be said that most of the 50 plus actors probably owe their amazing physiques to a mixture of pharmaceuticals and exercise rather than mother nature. However, being in a profession where appearance is crucial to remaining a lead player in the action movie genre, it would not be at all surprising if steroids were in the old medicine cabinet. In Cannes, Ronda Rousey said nothing about medicinal help in her references to real mean.
Former Expendables co-star Bruce Willis, before his unceremonious, and rather Twitter tacky firing from the latest in the franchise, does not have the same “massive” muscling that both Arnold and Sly rely upon. Willis is an exercise fanatic though. His personal mobile gym, built for the reported cost of $200,000 goes with the star no matter what film he works on. The Reds actor knows that to keep busy and employed means keeping in shape. Better than excellent shape.
Age, despite these muscle bound and overly energetic action men’s attempts to circumvent it, causes things to slow down, droop and lose elasticity. Or as Mel Gibson put it at Cannes earlier on Sunday when speaking of Stallone’s and Schwarzenegger’s old “stiff” rivalry, Mel said that these days, things are not quite that stiff.
That may be the reason that Sylvester Stallone decided in The Expendables 3 to mix in a younger cast of tough guys, and one tough gal. Trying to make things that little bit easier on himself and his old rival Schwarzenegger who are the oldest members of the main cast. Ronda Rousey may well feel that these old action heroes are more like real men just as she says, but she does go on to explain that the older actors show what real men could be versus what they are now. Regardless of age, the celluloid icons of the action genre were well received at Cannes, arthritis, stiff joints and old rivalries included.
By Michael Smith