Okay, all together now, on the count of three… 1… 2… 3: I TOLD YOU SO!
The Expendables 2 was some of the greatest, cheesiest fun I had in 2012, excluding that public indecency incident at the Nik Naks factory (I am forbidden by my lawyers to say more). Besides for being thickly layered in the very best Gouda, it also had bucket loads of crimson as bodies were turned into red mulch on frequent occasion, something that got the 80’s action movie fans pumped. So naturally Sylvester Stallone and crew decided to tone everything down to PG-13 levels so that they could pull in the younger crowd as well. You know, the youth of today that have no idea who these old fogies are anyway.
Speaking to CraveOnline recently, Stallone revealed that this approach may not have been the wisest course of action, as the film underperformed at the box office (not helped by the film leaking online a few weeks before its release).
“I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone’s part in trying to reach a wider audience, but in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I’m quite certain it won’t happen again.”
According to Stallone, if there was one upside to the nerfed violence, it was that it made it slightly more believable that these guys could keep surviving all these explosive firefights.
“It’s is a big conflict for me, because in an R-rated film it is difficult to believe that none of the heroes die. I personally just believe that the characters become identifiable and their demise could put a dark cloud over an audience exiting the theatre after seeing the film. But that may change in ‘Expendables 4’…”
And that’s because Expendables – if it happens – will “Absolutely unequivocally yes” be R-Rated from the get-go. Besides for more violence though, the next film may throw the gang for a serious loop. Expendable 3 director Patrick Hughes recently suggested that the team do something crazy in the next flick, like maybe time travel to WWII (seriously). But while Stallone doesn’t think things should get that crazy, he does want to try something new.
“I have actually entertained the idea of putting the group into such an unnatural environment that it, in an of itself, creates extra suspense and tension: the “fish out of water” scenario. That environment might not be time travel, but nearly just as jarring. “
Something that was definitely not jarring, but rather pitch perfectly crazy was Mel Gibson’s totally unhinged villain Conrad Stonebanks. Gibson chewed the scenery with obvious relish in a role that was easily the film’s highlight, but if it were up to Stallone, Gibson would have been too busy behind the camera for anything else.
“I wanted Mel Gibson to direct originally because he’s an extraordinary filmmaker. But after several months of discussing it, this ultimately was not to be. But he did say he wanted to be in the movie – and play the villain. My response was a definite ‘YES…. Suit up.’
The other crazy highlight of the film was of course Antonio Banderas’ motor-mouth merc Galgo. According to Stallone, most of his ridiculous (in a good way) performance came from the Spanish actor himself.
It was from my relationship of having worked with Antonio before that allowed me to realize what he is capable of. His true personality is naturally dynamic so all I did was say “be yourself and pretend you’re a mercenary,” and the rest including the dialogue was all his.
While it lacked the self-aware fun factor of it’s predecessor, The Expendables 3 still had several highlights, one of which was untested director Patrick Hughes’ staging of some of the film’s massive climactic battle scenes. He definitely did a good enough job that I would love for him to show what he can really do without being hampered by an age restriction. Now we just get rid of all these youngsters and get back to what made this franchise great.
Last Updated: November 25, 2014