ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, from a distance, it might not seem to make all that much of a difference to a movie — but when it comes to the nitty-gritty of Hollywood's bottom-line, a film's rating matters. Movie producers the world over have seemingly decided that a PG-13 rating is the optimum rating in terms of profit, and so anything more (or less, in many cases) has become distinctly unfashionable, especially once a film's budget goes over $50 million or so.

Until, that is, Deadpool came along, and made absolutely no sense as a PG-13 release, focusing as it does on a foul-mouthed, ultra-violent mercenary with a fondness for scatological humor and scenes of a sexual nature. And so, the R-rated big-budget movie rose again — and fans the world over were able to look forward to a brave new world of appropriately adult action movies (assuming, of course, that Deadpool made good money).

Is 'Deadpool' Not Actually as Adult as We Think, Though?

That is what the latest news from the United Kingdom might just suggest — with the nation's film classification board (the BBFC) opting to grant the movie a 15 rating. Which means that in the UK, Deadpool is considered completely appropriate for anyone aged 15 or over. With an 18 rating possible, that would seem to suggest that the BBFC doesn't consider the film to be quite as adult as we all imagine it to be — seeing as a US R-rating restricts access to the movie for 17-year-olds and below.

With the UK rating coming in comparatively low, then, it seems Deadpool may well be a 'soft' R in the US, rather than the gore-filled swear-fest many were hoping for.

Does That 15 Rating Really Mean That 'Deadpool' Is A 'Soft' R, Though?

Well, in short, no, not really.

Y'see, the problem with translating a 15 rating in the UK to an R-rating in the US is that they're two very different rating systems — and ratings. The UK features only one discretionary rating with which a child younger than the age listed can view the movie — 12A — with the rest of its higher ratings — 15 and 18 — being absolute.

In the US, on the other hand, only an NC-17 rating actually prohibits children from seeing a movie. A PG-13 is simply a recommendation, while an R-rating allows under 17's to see the movie with an accompanying adult.

In other words?

That 15 Rating 'Deadpool' Received In The UK Is Arguably Stricter Than An R-Rating

After all, while under-15's can still see the movie in the US — so long as a parent or guardian is willing to take them — in the the UK they very much cannot do so (legally, at least).

If anything, then, Deadpool's shiny new 15 rating actually suggests that it's more adult than might have been expected — something that will surely bring smiles to the faces of gore-hounds everywhere.

Except, of course, in China, where — as Ryan Reynolds recently joked on a UK chat show — "it's rated go f--k yourself."

What do you think, though?



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