The movie blogosphere is going nuts due to the following quote by Bruce Willis in the June issue of Vanity Fair:
“I really wanted this one to live up to the promise of the first one, which I always thought was the only really good one. That’s a studio decision that is becoming more and more common, because they’re trying to reach a broader audience. It seems almost a courageous move to give a picture an R rating these days. But we still made a pretty hardcore, smashmouth film.”
This story appeared initially at AICN where there is currently (as usual) a huge uproar over the possibility of the movie getting a PG-13 rating instead of an R. Personally, I try to stay away from the talkback area of that site due to the type of rabble that leaves comments there. For the most part it’s the sort of person who says that an equivalent punishment for making a bad superhero movie would be to subject a director to the sort of thing you see in the Saw or Hostel movies as a real, actual punishment.
For example, there are some folks over there blaming Conservatives and Christians if Live Free and Die Hard ends up getting a PG-13. What an idiotic theory. If the movie gets a PG-13 instead of an R rating it’s because Fox Movies thinks it will get more butts in the seats at movie theaters. Period.
Sure, I’m old enough to be a huge fan of the original Die Hard, and it was rated R, along with the two sequels. Would I like this one to be rated R? Of course I would. John McClane belongs in an R rated environment. Is the movie getting a PG-13 for sure? Who knows? According to the official website for the film, it still says “THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED.” At the MPAA website it’s still not listed.
The real question here is will an R rating make a difference? The movie is being directed by Len Wiseman, whose previous two films are the original Underworld and it’s sequel. Nothing to write home about quality-wise there. There are no stellar prior films on the resumes of any of the screenwriters either. The only things in this movie’s favor are:
1. Bruce Willis is in it.
2. John McTiernan is listed as a producer, and he’s responsible for the original film.
That’s it. Can you make a PG-13 version of Die Hard that’s just about as violent and with almost the same amount of foul language? Sure you can. Just reduce the f-bomb to the one famous “cowboy” line from the original and make the gunshot wounds bloodless. :-\
The real question is whether at its core this movie will be any good. There’s talk of boycotts and all that, but I’ll still go see it even if it’s PG-13, although it will bug me, especially since that means that there will no doubt be plenty of 4-9 year olds in the audience with their brain-damaged parents.
I mean raising the rating for Snakes on a Plane really made all the difference, didn’t it? :-)