by Robert Bayley
Even if you’ve never seen Delta Force or any of his other OTT action films then you’ll be aware of Chuck Norris facts.
A few years back a single meme held sway over the webisphere; absurd, supposedly factual reasons why Chuck Norris is such a bad-ass: “Earth was on a straight axis until Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked it,” or “Chuck Norris can count backwards from infinity.”
No doubt this had a large part to play in Chuck Norris taking his place in The Expendables 2. However studio Lionsgate seems to have mistaken this satirical affection for the D-list actor as genuine.
Norris refused to be a part of the film if the rating above PG-13, saying to Gazeta:
“With The Expendables 2, you have a lot of hard language in there that means that young people won’t be able to see it…I said, you have to cut out all the… hardcore language or I can’t do it. So they did, and Expendables is now a PG-13 film so kids can see it.”
Stallone confirmed these rumours by saying to AICN:
“The PG13 rumor is true… 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.”
The problem is that The Expendables is not a franchise for kids and Norris is trying to change the nature of the beast.
A great deal of the fun of the first one was seeing an incredibly violent, sweary, gore-laden old-school action film before the genre became the sole domain of toy-buying teens.
Studios are listening to the internet increasingly; that’s how Bale got the job as Batman. However they’ve clearly missed the mark here.
Norris shouldn’t be in the position to dictate demands to anyone, he should be glad to be back on the big screen at all. The fan-boy love is a result of his straight-to-video obscurity.
Looks like Norris doesn’t realise this too, which is why he feels he can make such demands and ruin everyone’s fun.
If having Norris means sacrificing a large part of what made the original so brutishly entertaining we’d would be better off without him.
Stallone, Willis, Van Damme and Schwarzenegger have been in some genuinely great films; has Norris? People went in droves to support an adult-certificate, big, dumb action movie partially to confirm the film’s faith that these films can be for adults.
Before the release it even inspired great fan-made trailers such as this:
By making the sequel child-friendly, the fans who confirmed that faith feel they’re having it spat back in their face and won’t be rushing to cinemas for the sequel.
What relevance do most of these actors have to 13 year-olds anyway?
Lionsgate should have let Norris take it or leave it and kept the swearing and violence up.
It’d be more fun to see Steven Segal up there anyway.
How do you feel about the announcement of a tamer rating thus a tamer film? Outraged at this betrayal of the original’s values? Or do you think there won’t be much lost and its worth having Norris in the film?
Leave your comments below.