When the rumors first started surfacing that Chuck Norris was in Expendables 2, I was pretty skeptical: the first film was a fairly hard-R, with language that would make a nun blush in all her special places, and Norris' image is decidedly family-friendly, and I doubt he would disagree with an assessment that his politics are somewhere right of center, as his online political columns should bear out. I take no issue with his political stances, but I was immensely curious as to how he'd match those stances up with his appearance in a movie that features some pretty intense violence and language.
As it turns out, he might not have to, as he may have exerted a bit of influence to force the movie down into a slightly more palatable (to him) PG-13 rating. This is one of those translated interviews that seemingly always wind up being miscontrued, so take this with a grain of salt, but this is ExpendablesPremiere.com's translation of a bit of a Polish television interview Norris did:
In Expendables 2, there was a lot of vulgar dialogue in the screenplay. For 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.
One of the commenters over there went through and re-translated, and got essentially the same message:
In Expendables 2, they had a lot of hard language in there that prevent young people from going to see it, and I said I don't do movies like that. I might have done them in the past(?), I didn't do it in those TV series. I said if you can't take out all the language, hardcore language, you know... I can't do it. So they did, and they made it a PG-13 film so kids can go see it.
Obviously a PG-13 rating would also rather drastically cut down the chance that we'll see Dolph Lungdren cut a man in half with a shotgun blast, so it wouldn't just be the language that would be affected. It'd be hard not to imagine Expendables 2 being rather emphatically de-fanged were it actually rated PG-13 instead of R. That doesn't necessarily mean that it'd be bad, of course (and to be fair I'm sure the studio would be happier with an easier-to-sell PG-13 film), but it would necessarily be far less brutal than its predecessor.
Personally, I'd be happy to have no Chuck Norris and an R-rating. What do you think, though?
Harry, the film is fantastic with Van Damme turning in an inspired performance... Our final battle is one for the ages. The PG13 rumor is true, but before your readers pass judgement, trust me when I say this film is LARGE in every way and delivers on every level. This movie touches on many emotions which we want to share with the broadest audience possible, BUT, fear not, this Barbeque of Grand scale Ass Bashing will not leave anyone hungry...Sly