As many of us already know, Tim Miller, the director of 20th Century Fox’s highly anticipated Deadpool film, announced that the Merc with the Mouth’s first solo movie adventure would be PG-13. After hearing the news, the inter-webs were burning with furious anger upon learning that Marvel’s most violent and crass character would supposedly be made to appeal to the widest possible demographics of the PG-13 rating.
When learning that a film based off of a mature property will be PG-13, there always seems to be an agreement between fans of the property that the movie is going to be dumbed down for the youngest viewers. However, after much thought, it’s obvious that the PG-13 rating has evolved over time, and has allowed more mature content to be included.
Most superhero films have garnered PG-13 ratings, and some critics and audiences have argued that some of the most popular comic book films have dipped their toes into the territory of an R-rating. Probably the most violent of superhero movies to earn a PG-13 rating is Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. For those that don’t know, it’s the film that features a psychopath who dresses up as a clown, and takes pleasure in acts of terrorism and carving Glasgow smiles into people’s faces. You know, the one made for the kids. Yes, The Dark Knight is rated PG-13, and I don’t recall anyone complaining that the movie didn’t have enough violence or pencil murder.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is probably the closest film in tone to Deadpool’s most ridiculous escapades. In Scott Pilgrim’s quest to have a lasting relationship with Ramona Flowers, he fights seven of her evil ex-boyfriends/girlfriends. The violence in Scott Pilgrim is appropriately goofy and extremely creative. Battles with psychic vegans and laser sword fights are only a handful of the movie’s best action scenes. While there is no blood or gore, the fights are able to deliver enough action to entertain an audience. Plus, the film covers sex and pop culture throughout. Both of those subjects are Deadpool’s two favorite things (not including chimichangas of course).
Even this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy was really pushing the PG-13 it earned. Outside of the foul mouthed talking raccoon, Chris Pratt’s ejaculation joke would have probably been more at home in an R-rated film, yet the joke still managed to make it into the movie. Even Guardians’ action was surprisingly violent. I don’t know about you reader, but a giant tree-man impaling a dozen guys with his arm and smashing them into the wall 10+ times isn’t exactly what you might find in a family film. All of these things made it into the final cut, and were praised by fans and critics alike.
It has to be said that perhaps Deadpool’s rating will also allow the director, writers and stars of the film to be even more creative and clever in the presentation of Deadpool’s world. As Marvel fans know, Deadpool is famous for breaking the fourth wall. Having the mercenary acknowledge that he’s being censored by 20th Century Fox and the MPAA could definitely generate a few laughs. Hell, having Deadpool realize he can’t say the word “fuck” more than once, or any of his other favorite words could be fairly a fairly entertaining gag throughout the movie. He certainly loves interacting with his floating yellow boxes above his head. I’m sure he’ll develop a pretty good dynamic with the little black box that insists on covering his mouth.