Logan, the second film in the X-Men series to receive an R-rating, was released last weekend to rave reviews and over $88 million. Deadpool, the first film in the series to receive an R-rating, is now the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. Other successful R-rated comic book adaptations include 2005's V for Vendetta and 2009's Watchmen. Here's why it's time for Marvel to learn from its predecessors and release an R-rated #MCU movie.
- 'Logan' And 'Deadpool' Prove Fans' Thirst For R-Rated Superhero Movies — Is It Time The MCU Follows Suit?
It's a surprise that it took this long for us to get an R-rated #Wolverine movie, especially considering the dude has freakin' adamantium blades in his hands! Wolverine can slice and dice through bad guys with ease, and he's the star of some of Marvel's bloodiest comics, such as Mark Millar's Old Man Logan, in which he rips open the Hulk's stomach after the Hulk eats him.
Graphic violence is a staple of modern Marvel comics, and the MCU needs to include bloodier, gorier violence if they want to be truly accurate to the source material. The Hulk is a monster who can tear people apart as easily as a piece of paper, Thor's weapon of choice is a hammer, and Iron Man can literally murder people with the push of a button, but this is all deeply implicit in the MCU. By implementing an R-rating, the true scope of our heroes' and villains' powers — and the true consequences of those powers — can be shown.
Violence, if used correctly, can contribute to a better plot by adding emotion and gravitas to a character or a scene. For example, Bruce Banner's guilt that forced him into exile at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron could be better represented if we were shown the true scope of the Hulk's destruction.
Tony Stark's PTSD in Iron Man 3 could have had a more emotional impact if we were shown the R-rated devastation he was subjected to in The Avengers. Moreover, Tony Stark struggled with alcoholism in Marvel's Demon in a Bottle storyline, which was only minimally touched on in Iron Man 2.
Iron Man 2 could have been more emotionally effective with an R-rating because we could have seen the truly harrowing effects of Stark's alcoholism; also, it would have made the film more comic accurate. Films like Watchmen and V for Vendetta tackled similarly mature themes, such as rape and vigilantism, quite successfully. Even some MCU properties, specifically those on Netflix, have effectively tackled these mature themes. Daredevil's second season focused on themes of vigilantism and gun violence, leading to some interesting dialogue between Charlie Cox's #Daredevil and Jon Bernthal's #ThePunisher.
Jessica Jones tackled themes such as rape and sexual harassment, while Luke Cage briefly touched on violence in the black community. Adding an R-rating to the MCU films will allow the MCU to tackle similar, relevant themes, while remaining consistent with the Netflix shows and accurate to the comics.
Additionally, the thematic elements of MCU films, like Marvel's Netflix shows, should reflect the maturity of those who grew up watching them. For example, many of those who have kept up with the MCU since Phase 1 are now old enough to see R-rated films.
1. Higher Stakes
One of the most common complaints about the MCU is its ultimate inability to kill main characters (i.e. Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, Bucky Barnes, etc.). Many thought that streak would change by the end of Captain America: Civil War based on Captain America's death in the aftermath of the comic storyline of Marvel's Civil War.
Obviously, the Captain lives to serve another day. But it's inevitable that one of our heroes will meet death by the end of Avengers: Infinity War, right? Or is it? It seemed inevitable that Cap would bite the bullet, but he didn't. Many believe that Vision will die in Infinity War when Thanos needs to extract the Mind Stone from his forehead, but that sounds a bit too violent for a PG-13 film. Adding an R-rating not only increases the violence and maturity of the MCU, it also raises the stakes, giving audiences just enough uncertainty to keep them on their toes and actually worry for the fate of their favorite main characters.
The MCU doesn’t need an R-rated film. Then again, neither did X-Men, but many would argue that an R-rated Deadpool and an R-rated Logan would be better than PG-13 versions.
What do you guys think? Does the MCU need an R-rated film or not? Let us know in the comments below!