Earlier this month, a shocking info hit the web, that the much anticipated action sequel, THE EXPENDABLES 2 is going to be PG-13 because one of its cast members, Chuck Norris had a problem with the vulgar language. Studio gave in to Norris’ request, and Sylvester Stallone confirms the PG-13 plan, which disappoints all of us fans of the first film, which was hardcore R. I already ranted on and on about why this is a terrible decision on their part, but let’s read this letter from Sly-Schwarzenegger’s biggest fan, ABKing, via Thearnoldfans.com, protesting the PG-13 EX2, ABKing made some very damn good sense in this letter, I think it deserves Sly’s undivided attention..
Open letter from ABking to Sly, Chuck Norris and anyone else who had a hand in deciding to water down and cut the balls off this anticipated sequel. EX2 is now in a bad light with action fans and moviegoers. After browsing the internet for reaction I’m 1000% positive this is the WORST MOVE Sly and co. can make. Here are my thoughts: I will only be seeing EX2 once now (most likely).
Everyone knows “ABking” as the the most quoted Stallone and Schwarzenegger fan on the PLANET. Well, even the “BIGGEST SLY and ARNOLD FAN EVER” is not happy with the BAD and WRONG decision of turning a promising KICK ASS upstart franchise into a kids friendly series.
What made the first EXPENDABLES movie awesome besides seeing all those action stars together was that it was a throwback to seeing bad guys get blasted away real good like in such classics as DIE HARD, RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II, TOTAL RECALL, CLIFFHANGER, MISSING IN ACTION, DOUBLE IMPACT, TRUE LIES, DEMOLITION MAN, THE LAST BOYSCOUT, LONE WOLF MCQUADE, ERASER etc.
Those above movies I listed starred the likes of Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Norris, Van Damme and Willis.
The fact that Sly, Chuck Norris, Avi Lerner, Simon West etc. decided to WATER DOWN and gut this franchise on the second film is going to backfire in a BIG way. People automatically assume that PG-13 means more butts in the seats. WRONG!!! Not for a franchise series like THE EXPENDABLES. Two points…1) the franchise did not start out PG-13 like say MISSION IMPOSSIBLE or BOURNE. Had it started out as a PG-13 then that would be fine. BUT it started out R. By dropping the rating it seems like the film is going in the wrong direction and it is telling the fans and the public ‘hey we are more family friendly, bring the kids.’ If a films rating starts out PG-13 and then goes to R with a second film at least you can say ‘hey they upped the ante’…NEVER do it the other way around. 2) A film like EXPENDABLES begs to be R rated. I mean lets get real here: a movie starring STALLONE/SCHWARZENEGGER/WILLIS/VAN DAMME/CHUCK NORRIS does not scream PG-13. It MUST be an R rated movie, PERIOD! There are going to be SOOO many people that are going to wait for the possible “unrated cut” on blu ray that they are not going to pay to see this in theaters. This WRONG rating IS going to backfire, trust me. I saw the first film in theaters SIX times and loved it each time. I brought friends and family members to it. I will not see EX2 more than once if it sticks with this watered down rating…and I will go it alone so that no one will see the disappointment on my face. Sure I *might* like it, but the “WHAT IF” or “WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN” will always be in the back of my mind.
If you look all over the internet or talk to the average moviegoer that loves action movies what you will hear is “I’m going to watch the bootleg for free, at least I won’t have to waste my money on a PG-13 throwback action movie”, or “I will wait for the unrated cut”, or “I will only be seeing this one in theaters once instead of numerous times like I did with the first movie”. I have heard hard core action fans personally say this to me. Just browse the net on sites like AICN, IMDB, COMING SOON etc. and you will see how upset the core demographic is with this decision.
Simon West directed the cult action fest known as CON AIR. I remember seeing that kick ass action movie back in the summer of 1997. It was a true action movie. It had testosterone and then some. It was a hard R rated action movie that was bad ass and it delivered on every level. Now imagine if that film was rated PG-13. NO WAY IN HELL! How can the man that directed such an awesome R rated macho-fest movie like that settle for a film with the BIGGEST action stars on the planet and the film being rated PG-13? Grow some balls Mr. West and let Avi Lerner, Chuck Norris and Sly know you want this film as an R. EX2 should be better than CON AIR.
I would rather EX2 have the true rating it was meant to have and gross 90 million in the U.S. than for it to have that false rating of a PG-13 and gross 180 million. At least years from now when people own it they can watch it over and over and actually love it. LIONSGATE is going to make a killing with EX2 if it is rated R. The U.S. alone will see the film gross 150 million and over 400 MILLION DOLLARS WORLDWIDE.
Would Quentin Tarantino make one of his movies R just to please the studios…NO! Would he sequelize PULP FICTION then say I’m gonna make it PG-13 so that I can get a more mass audience! NOOOOOOO!
Does anyone want to see that epic AIRPORT scene in EX2 with Sly, Willis and Arnold taking on hundreds of bad guys and wiping them out…yet you only get to see little blood or cut-away shots??? HECK NO!!!!!!! I want to see Arnold use that shotgun that was seen in the trailer and blow a hole into someones stomach. I want to see Sly use those two hand guns and put a bullet between someones eyes. I want to see Willis mowing down bad guys with that machine gun like he did in DIE HARD 2. I don’t want to see the family friendly version of all that.
DIE HARD 2 has one of the best AIRPORT shoot-outs in cinema history. It was real, raw, explosive and filled with violence. I cannot imagine a PG-13 cut version of that sequence. I do not, I repeat do not want to see a PG-13 AIRPORT shoot-out in EX2…or it will pale in comparison to DH2.
I also do not want to see Terry Crews’s awesome gun from the first movie “remember me at Christmas time” get its balls cut off. I mean really! Sly please don’t do that. In the teaser trailer for EX2 you see Terry Crews holding that gun as if saying “look, we are both back”. Why tease the fans like that if you are going to have Terry shoot that gun and kill people in a way that cheats the audience.
Sly, Chuck, Avi and Simon West: PLEASE don’t be SELL OUTS! People are already thinking the guys who made this TERRIBLE decision with the rating HAVE SOLD OUT to HOLLYWOOD for the almighty dollar. Do not choose a few extra bucks (that might not be made) over artistic integrity. The film can be LARGE and GRAND and EPIC as Sly told Harry Knowles at AICN, but with an R. Everyone will still see it if the film is that good. Word-of-mouth will spread about how KICK ASS EX2 is. RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II got bigger than the first. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY got bigger than the first. PLEASE let EXPENDABLES 2 get bigger than the first as well.
Bottom line: The fans are DISAPPOINTED right now and rightfully so. But you guys still have more than enough time to make the right choice and give us a movie sequel to remember…MAKE it “R”! 8 months of ridicule on the net will hurt this movie BIG TIME if it stays the course with the watered down PG-13!