Sylvester Stallone back-peddled on his previous claims that The Expendables 2 is snagging a PG-13 Rating, and the MPAA is likewise confirming the sequel has an R Rating for "strong bloody violence throughout" (it appears that Chuck Norris will be keeping his mouth clean after all, even while getting his hands dirty).
Previously-unseen Expendables 2 footage shown at Comic-Con was scrubbed clean (re: edited) for an all-ages audiences, but still delivered loads of stabbing, bone-snapping, and baddies being riddled with bullets. It remains to be seen if the flick carries over (unpopular) digitally-rendered bloodshed from its predecessor.
Terry Crews told Crave Online that Expendables 2 takes more time to explore the personalities of (and interactions between) the film's crusty mercenaries:
“I think the coolest part about ['The Expendables 2' is that we [the main cast] have a better rapport. You get to see a little more of what we are like together, even in the downtime. Whereas the first one was just action, action, action, I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised when they get a little more of our characters, because we didn’t have time for backstory in the first one. This one, you get to learn a little bit more about Dolph [Lundgren], Randy [Couture], myself and how we interact with Sly and Jason [Statham].”
The theatrically-released version of the first Expendables is lighter on character development than the director's cut, but Crews says the sequel also allows him to flex his comedy muscles. That holds true for the rest of the cast (including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, who riff on their respective, iconic one-liners):
"... It kind of opened things up for me in a lot of ways, took advantage of my comedic timing. I don’t look at myself as a badass. I’ve never done that. With comedies I’ve done, all the things, I can’t do that. But Sly knew how to work with all our gifts and I get a nice hefty load of some of the comedic stuff.”
Crews insists that Expendables 2 is "the movie that Sly really wanted to make in the beginning" and trailer footage suggests his claims aren't just hot air. That's encouraging news, for fans eagerly awaiting a proper throwback to the unhinged, testosterone-fueled mayhem found in action movies of decades past.
The Expendables 2 stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Nan Yu, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's based on a screenplay co-written by Stallone and Richard Wenk, and directed by Simon West.
Look for The Expendables 2 when it opens in U.S. theaters on August 17th, 2012.