Jan 24, 2012

Last Word On PG-13 And We Try To Move On

We asked EX2 Blog's visitors to vote on some of the major 80-90's blockbuster action movies that would in their opinion qualify under a  PG-13 rating if released today. The movies we selected were: First Blood, Rambo II, Rambo III, Cliffhanger, Demolition Man, The Terminator, Terminator 2, Predator, True Lies, Eraser, Die Hard 1-2 & 3.
21% of visitors think that none of those movies would be rated PG-13 if released today. But there was a good number of visitors who thought True Lies (34%), Cliffhanger (27%), First Blood (25%) & Demolition Man (23%) would be rated PG-13 according to today's standards.

I'm going to pick on First Blood as it happens to be one of my top favorite action movies.

I haven't watched First Blood in a long time but from what I remember it could pass most major criteria for a PG-13 rating:

-less than four uses of explicit language (there was a good number of "s--t," "hell," "damn," but only 2 times f--k) - Pass

-no extreme bloodshed (Stallone sewing his own gashed arm shut was the most extreme
) - Pass

-crude humor (the sheriff's cruel head deputy humor when brutalizing and harassing Stallone) - Pass

-mature/political themes (the shabby treatment of American Vietnam veterans) - Pass

-moderately long horror moments and moderate action violence (the action sequences in the woods, etc.) - Pass

-non-sexual nudity (Stallone hosed down) - Pass

It's close, without too much efforts First Blood could very likely pass the PG-13 test under today's American motion picture rating system. 

If First Blood was released tomorrow under a PG-13 rating in a theater that was not frequented by too many kids I would definitely go see it and it'll become one of my favorite action movies again. 

As a retro action fan I do appreciate realistic scenes of violence and a good dose of humorist coarse language, but what I also value in a blockbuster action movie is the story, depth of characters, directing, photography, editing and soundtrack. I think First Blood delivered on many levels.

Now the question that some might ask, would fans care as long as an EX2 PG-13 is a good movie, as long as the action scenes and the fight scenes are well-done. If EX2 is as good as it was in First Blood then would fans be fine with the PG-13 rating? We'll have to wait until Aug 17 for fans to answer the question.


  1. You can't really compare First Blood and Expendables 2. Two different kind of movies. First blood has nothing to do with Expendables. In Expendables there are bunch of mercenaries killing hundreds of baddies, telling bad jokes and they suppose to be tough guys and act like it. In First Blood there is one man in the woods fighting guerrilla style warfare against the local police and only kill's one man accidentally. So if you would compare EX to another movie it should be the same kinda movies.

  2. You do bring up a good point about the actual level of violence in First Blood. It probably would be PG-13 by today's standards. EX2 is a throwback film to movies like First Blood and beyond, though. It's designed to be Rated R and I do feel Lionsgate spit in the face of its fan base by making it PG-13. They chose greed over what is right. Having said that, I have made my peace with this and will no longer be commenting on the PG-13 issue. I am still looking forward to this movie.

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