I enjoyed the first The Expendables film, despite the fact that, let’s face it, it wasn’t all that good. In fact, I noted somewhere at the time that the film and the released at roughly the same time The Losers were completely interchangeable films. In fact, I would go so far as to say The Losers had a somewhat better overall script.
Despite this, if I had some free time (ha!) and decided to revisit one of these two films, the one I’d pick is The Expendables. For people in/around my age with fond memories of the action films of the 1980’s (and bleeding -pun intended- into the 1990’s), there is an allure to see all these old (and some new) action stars all together in one film, and that’s something The Losers simply didn’t have going for it.
Again, I’d be the last person in the world to say The Expendables was some kind of cinematic masterpiece, but it was a pleasant enough time killer with fun cameos and, yes, I am interested in seeing the sequel, which appears to up the ante in terms of cameos and old action star appearances.
One of those “old” action stars that will appear in The Expendables 2 is Chuck Norris and yesterday there was something of a splash created by him for an interview he gave where he said the following (The video and this material presented below is taken from /Film and can be found here):
In Expendables 2, there was a lot of vulgar dialogue in the screenplay. Fot this reason, many young people wouldn’t be able to watch this. But I don’t play in movies like this. Due to that I said I won’t be a part of that if the hardcore language is not erased. Producers accepted my conditions and the movie will be classified in the category of PG-13.
So, essentially, Mr. Norris is claiming “credit” for making the sequel film more “family friendly”.
Which boggles my mind.
Looking at Chuck Norris’ IMDB filmography, this is a man who made much of his career in “R” rated action films. Granted, the films were usually “R” rated more for their violent content rather than any nudity or extensive use of heavy language, but still.
According to IMDB, Mr. Norris was involved in 13 films from 1980 to 1989, arguably his most prolific movie decade. Of those 13 films, a whopping 10 of them (or 77%) were “R” rated (In order: The Octagon, An Eye For An Eye, Silent Rage, Forced Vengeance, Missing In Action, Missing In Action 2: The Beginning, Code of Silence, Invasion U.S.A., The Delta Force, and Braddock: Missing in Action III).
So…is Mr. Norris become rather hypocritical? Perhaps. He wouldn’t be the first person to benefit or engage in something only to forsake it entirely at another stage in his/her life.
But what bothers is perhaps the fact that Mr. Norris, at least in that interview, takes credit for making the film PG-13. That part I find kind of hard to accept, unless his role is somehow crucial to the film itself (I have my doubts…I get the feeling his is another “cameo” not unlike what Bruce Willis had in the first film).
Then again, I could be entirely wrong.
Regardless, how much do you want to bet an “uncut” version of the film will find its way to the DVD/BluRay market?