Sylvester Stallone, you are a great man. You gave us Rocky IV, you gave us Rambo, you gave us Demolition Man, and, two years ago, you gave us The Expendables.
I suspect that you’re not a frequenter of the site, although do rest assured that you’re always welcome. We shall make you coffee, and talk about the time that you managed to get all of Russia to love you after ten minutes in the company of Dolph Lundgren. It was a happy day.
Be we made a pact with you two years ago. You might not know it, but it did seem to be something of a given. Your part of the deal was this: you reunite lots of action stars in one film, get them to do physical stunts, swear, be violent, and not worried about a rating, and we give you our cash.
It’s fair to say that we both delivered on our unsaid promise. You made The Expendables. We paid to watch it. Win.
So, Sylvester. What’s going on? Why are you going for a PG-13 rating with The Expendables 2?
Few things in the world of movies fill me with more unhappiness than the thought of director Simon West, in the editing room of The Expendables 2, cutting away from a shot here, shortening a scene there, just to get the PG-13 rating. You didn’t need it last time: in fact, that you had the bottle to make a proper, R-rated action movie was got so many of us interested.
Sly, we live in a world where John McClane has to say fuck with the noise of a loud gunshot muffling him. Where a film supposedly in the Alien franchise (well, AvP) is toned down. Where even a movie like The King’s Speech is re-released with a cut-down PG-13 version. You were supposed to save us from this.
What the fudging pudding are you up to?
It’s not as if the first movie did badly. It made truckloads of millions, a massive hit, a big antidote to safer Hollywood franchises. Sure, there were rumours of the original Expendables having a PG-13 rating at one point. But you stood your ground. We loved you for that.
It’s not as if we have a pathological aversion to the PG-13 rating. Sometimes, often even, it doesn’t matter. You can get away with a lot in a PG-13-rated movie.
But Sly? You know, don’t you? You know in your heart of hearts that The Expendables 2 should be an R. We know it. You know it. And yet it isn’t.
We love Chuck Norris. We are, after all, only human. But when he laid down the condition, as we’re led to believe, that The Expendables 2 should be PG-13? You should have told that melon farmer exactly where to go.
Just don’t flip us around on the DVD release, you sponge. We know there’s an R-rated cut of this movie somewhere. And Sly? So do you.