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‘The Expendables 3’ Will Oddly Be Rated PG-13, Unlike the Previous 2 Films in the Franchise

'The Expendables 3' Will Oddly Be Rated PG-13, Unlike the Previous 2 Films in the Franchise

Talk about a buzz-kill. 

Yes, I know, a movie can be rated PG-13 and still be uproarious, but, come on! The last 2 were rated R, and for good reason. I was looking forward to an even more irreverent “Expendables” movie – the bloody violence, strong language, grisly, disturbing images and more, not aimed at the PC crowd, that will ensure parental guidance stickers.

Maybe I’m inflating things a bit, but this makes me a tad nervous about what “The Expendables 3” is going to look and sound like, as the 3rd film in a franchise of old-school testosterone-filled romps, featuring a who’s who of classic action movie stars, in unapologetically combustible entertainment. One certainly doesn’t go into these movies expecting *safe*, family-friendly, Oscar-caliber material. It’s all escapist spectacle, and the kind of adrenaline shot the summer movie season needs – especially towards the end, as studios transition to the usual parade of fall Academy Award bait releases.

But I suppose with a very likely even higher budget than the previous 2 movies in the franchise (the 1st cost $80 million; the 2nd $100 million), one can assume that the film’s distributor, Lionsgate, would like to make the 3rd film widely accessible, hence the PG-13 rating. Although the 3rd film’s budget isn’t yet public. I’m almost sure it’s more than the last, given all the cast additions this time around.

Collectively, the first 2 films grossed almost $600 million worldwide.

I do wonder, however, if the studio ordered a PG-13 movie from the start, or if an R-rated film was made, and then edited to produce a PG-13 flick. I hope that question is answered eventually – possibly while the stars are doing the usual press tour for the film, which is set for an August 15, 2014 release.

It’ll mark Wesley Snipes’ first major gig post-prison, after serving a 3-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania for tax evasion, and I think his presence alone will be a draw, if only because audiences (especially fans of his) will be absolutely thrilled to see him on the big screen again, doing what he does best, after what seems like ages since his last hit. 

But not just him. Snipes will be part of an ensemble cast of heavy-hitters like Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson, fresh faces who both join the existing group that includes Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Jason Statham and others. 

Also, Kelsey Grammer and Antonio Banderas are in this one as well. I’m surprised Stallone didn’t get Jackie Chan. He’d fit right in!

So you’ve got a nice mix of backgrounds there, covering 4 continents.

But PG-13? Really? Naaaaah! The likes of Stallone in a PG-13 movie is such a rare thing.

“The Expendables 3” is set for an August 15, 2014 release.

Patrick Hughes is director.

Here’s the most recent trailer:

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