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Stallone premieres "The Expendables" in London

The Associated Press, Monday, August 9, 2010, 12:07pm (PDT)

LONDON (AP) -- Sylvester Stallone premiered his new movie "The Expendables" in London Monday after touring two other European capitals with some of his action-hero studded cast.

Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham, two of a cast packed with 80's action stars, joined Stallone at Leicester Square's Odeon theater red-carpet premiere, lined with rows of fans screaming "Rocky! Rocky!"

"It's unbelievable," Stallone grinned. "These guys weren't even born (then)!"

Though some might question the vitality of a cast largely made up of men well over 40 — a few in their mid-60's — Stallone said "The Expendables" was a return to authentic action characters in an era dominated by special effects.

"It's a rapport with the audience. It's just that you believe what you see and that guy is bigger than the show," the star said, adding "every generation has to create their own hero and that's why you have the superhero, it's evolved. But after "Avatar" it's like, 'Stop, let's go back to basics'."

The actor, best-known for "Rambo" and "Rocky" wrote, directed and starred in the film, in which he leads a gang of mercenaries who get caught up in a plot to overthrow the murderous dictator of a fictitious nation.

The story serves as a backdrop for countless explosions and fight scenes between Sly's team, which includes Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, former pro wrestler Steve Austin and Ultimate Fighting champ Randy Couture, plus cameos by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Anyone looking to question "The Expendables?" street credentials only needs to glance at the former Rambo star himself for proof that the big screen fights were real enough; he had his neck broken during filming.

The film hits theaters in the U.S. Friday and then opens around the world.

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