I don’t know how to feel about this news.
Chuck Norris’ participation in “The Expendables 2” was apparently contingent on the swearing being excised from the screenplay, reports reveal today – here’s Empire Online’s take.
The iconic Martial Arts star does not do bad language and deferred his sign-up to the Sylvester Stallone-fronted OAP shoot-em-up until any hint of Anglo-Saxon verbiage in the script was kicked in the head, thrown through a window and summarily set on fire. I like to think that’s how the writers got rid of the cursing – the truth may be far more prosaic.
In any case, whilst I normally find swearing in movies to be a sign that all concerned have abandoned wit altogether and just pursued the easiest possible way to give the appearance of being edgy and outlaw-like, I do find Chuck Norris’ attitude to be a little absurd in this context.
So, it’s okay to beat the crap out of everyone, shoot lots of people in the head, break no end of limbs and generally pursue as much violence as the running time of the film will allow, just so long as little Jimmy and Jennifer don’t hear any harsh language in the process?
Having watched the first, rather underwhelming movie, I’m not in any real hurry to see 2012’s iteration of Sly’s latest late career franchise, particularly as it struck me as a film rather in denial of what it actually was. A lot of the press before the movie wanted you to believe that “The Expendables” was a contemporary riff on the ‘Last Badasses Standing’ genre of action flick – a latter-day take on “The Wild Bunch” made for an audience more used to seeing antiseptic, CGI-enhanced superhero pictures than films with beaten-up stuntmen, practical effects and anti-heroes who bleed all over the place.
What we got instead was a pumped-up, splatter-fest “A-Team” adventure with Stallone’s all-star cast of macho action heroes running away from explosions in slow motion and hapless stunt folk being shot to pieces with guns the size of small family cars, all in the name of Freedom, Justice and other ephemeral concepts popular in the uncomplicated action cinema of the 1980’s and early to mid 1990’s.
I can personally do without sanitized action films, so the knowledge that “The Expendables 2” is PG 13 in the US makes it a Blu Ray rental rather than a cinema visit, at least as far as I’m concerned. Your mileage may vary, but I find it more than a little weird that kids are admitted to a violent, bloody action flick just so long as harsh language is excised from the proceedings.