Cannes 2014: The Expendables 3 footage reaction review

Half the fun of watching an Expendables movie comes from the self-knowing preposterousness of it all.

So it's somewhat fitting that Sly and co are taking over the Cannes Film Festival with the most ill-fitting movie you can possibly think of - and in the loudest and gleefully brashest way possible.

Not only will actual genuine tanks be rolling down the croisette later today (pictures over on Twitter as they happen), but they've lined up a spectacularly star-studded press conference including - deep breath - Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz and director Patrick Hughes.

The croisette sure has seen its fair share of A-Listers in its time, but we doubt it's ever had such a concentrated blast of mega-stars all bunched under one roof.

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More on that later, but for now we'll react to the world's first glimpse at brand new footage from the movie - not only a few minutes of new footage in a shiny sizzle reel, but a 15-20 minute behind-the-scenes package, too.

First things first - fans of the last two are in for a treat. The footage we saw guarantees The Expendables 3 will be bigger, barmier and more blow-y up-y than ever before, with CGI-lite action, chucklesome humour, explosions and vehicular mayhem (boat, truck, bomber and even train-to-helicopter stunts are all promised) en masse.

Throw in some much-needed ass-kicking oestrogen in the form of Ronda Rousey, and allusions to an actual plot this time around (Sly boasted that the last two scripts have come in at 90 pages, whereas this one's 145 - whether that's just 140 pages of KABOOM written in size 289 font is still yet to be clarified, but even that would be preferable to The Expendables 2 ), and it's certainly looking set to at least try to counter some the franchise's detractors.

And the stunts look bigger and more dangerous than ever - in one terrifying and then thankfully ultimately hilarious behind-the-scenes scene, the brakes fail on a truck that Jason Statham's driving, leading him to plough into bunch of stunt guys, and then plummet off a dock.

Luckily, everyone seemed fine - and Sly even cracked a joke about filming the whole shebang on his iPhone.

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And it's in the ridiculously OTT cast and these dynamics that properly excites.

Wesley Snipes looks as gloriously ridiculous as you'd expect, Antonio Banderas is all but guaranteed to steal the whole show with his typically quirky, preposterous wit, and Harrison Ford looks - miraculously - to be having an utter blast (pun, as ever, intended).

In one scene, Ford turns to Stallone and says "I haven't had this much fun in years."

It'll never win any acting Oscars, but if The Expendables 3 is even half as much fun to watch as it looks like it was to shoot, audiences are in for a treat.