Chuck Norris agreed to play on his image by declaiming a famous “fact” about him in “Expendables 2: Elite Unit”. On the other hand, out of the question for the actor to give up a chastised language.
Expendables 2 : this time it’s personal
Two years after the first part, the band led by Sylvester Stallone returns to Expendables 2: Special Unit. In this 2012 sequel, the mercenaries seek revenge after losing one of their own. Barney Ross’ men track down the infamous Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme), responsible for the death of a member of the team, through Albania.
For this new confrontation, the squad also made up of Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews and Randy Couture can count on many allies. Nan Yu, Liam Hemsworth but also Chuck Norris as well as ghosts Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are present to lend a hand. As for the bad guys, Scott Adkins will give them a hard time.
Still, on the screenplay, Sylvester Stallone leaves the director’s hat here to Simon West, who has already distinguished himself in action with Hell’s Wings, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, or The gunslinger.
Plenty of references
Lighter than its predecessor, the film multiplies the humorous replies referring to the careers of its headliners. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, keeps coming back, and even goes so far as to launch a “Yippee-ki-yay” during the finale where he joins forces with Bruce Willis. During this confrontation where these veterans have a field day, they also quote a certain John Rambo.
Chuck Norris is also entitled to several allusions to his past as a vigilante. His character responds to the name “Booker”, the same name as that of the protagonist he plays in The Black Tigers Commando. He is also nicknamed “the Solitary Wolf”, or “Lone Wolf” in English, as in An eye for an eyein which he opposes David Carradine.
The condition of Chuck Norris
With Expendables 2: Special Unit, Chuck Norris agrees to come out of retirement. When he joined the project, the actor had not toured since Diamond’s Blood which dates back to 2005. Before joining the Expendables, Bruce Lee’s opponent in The Dragon’s fury imposes a condition. Interviewed in 2012 by the Polish newspaper Gazeta and quoted by IndieWire the actor explains:
There was a lot of vulgar dialogue in the script. Because of that, young people won’t be able to see it. I don’t act in movies like that. For this reason, I said that I will not participate in the film if the hardcore language is not removed. The producers have accepted my conditions and the film will be classified in the PG-13 category (parental consent recommended and film not recommended for children under 13, editor’s note).
After these statements were published before the release of the feature film, Sylvester Stallone confirms the classification but wants to reassure his fans about the quality of Expendables 2effectively less brutal and rude than the first installment. A response posted by AICN Sly ensures:
The film is fantastic, with Van Damme delivering an inspired performance… Our final confrontation will go down in history. The PG-13 rumor is true, but before your readers judge the movie, trust me when I say it’s GREAT in every way.
Sylvester Stallone’s regret
Ultimately, Expendables 2 remains “Rated R”, which means that minors 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult in the cinema, due to its bloody scenes. In contrast, Expandables 3 is seen in the PG-13 category. What Sylvester Stallone bitterly regrets, as he confides to the site CraveOnline in 2014, quoted by Allocinated:
I think the PG-13 rating of The Expendables 3, which was intended to reach a wider audience and lessen the violence that audiences expected, was a terrible mistake on our part.