The Expendables 4 guns down R rating

The Expendables franchise will return to its roots, as the MPA has handed down an R rating after a PG-13 third entry.

Expendables rating

In some positive news within the movie industry, the fourth entry in The Expendables franchise has been given its official rating by the MPA, landing a surely much-deserved R rating “for strong/bloody violence throughout, language and sexual material.”

Normally such a rating wouldn’t be such a big deal for an action- and machismo-driven flick, but considering The Expendables 3 nabbed a completely unexpected PG-13 in 2013, the franchise returning to its R roots is a major plus for fans. For comparison, the third installment got the teen-friendly rating “for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language”, while the first two movies earned R ratings for “strong action and bloody violence throughout, and for some language” and “strong bloody violence throughout”, respectively.

Interestingly enough, The Expendables 3 ended up grossing just $39 million even though it tried to target a younger audience with its adjusted rating. Hopefully The Expendables 4 — stylized as Expend4bles (trying saying that out loud…) — can bring some box office glory back to the franchise, which never failed to open at #1 when it had an R attached.

While the R rating will undoubtedly be a major draw for fans of The Expendables, they can expect some changes as well when the movie blasts to screens on September 22nd. While the series will continue with an ensemble presence, the tough guy attitude will most likely be lighter. Sure, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Sylvester Stallone aren’t ones you’d want to mess with, but long gone are the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger (sadly confirming his exit after production wrapped), Jet Li, Terry Crews, Bruce Willis, not to mention one-offs like Chuck Norris, Steve Austin and Jean-Claude Van Damme. New inclusions this time around include Curtis “50 Cent”, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, and Andy Garcia.

The official plot of The Expendables 4: “Reuniting as the team of elite mercenaries,Armed with every weapon they can get their hands on and the skills to use them, The Expendables are the world’s last line of defense and the team that gets called when all other options are off the table. But new team members with new styles and tactics are going to give “new blood” a whole new meaning.”

Do you think the R rating will help The Expendables 4 at the box office? How do you think it will stack up against the first three? Let us know!

Source: Motion Picture Association

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.