Rating systems are pesky little devils. I know studios think that by lowering a rating more people will be able to see your movie, but is it still the same movie? Let me get it out of the way first by saying that in no way can things like swearing, sex, blood and violence replace the power of a good narrative, but we can’t deny that some movies are practically hamstrung by changing the rating from R to PG-13.
Ignoring the part about I just said about “good narrative” (because I don’t know if that applies to the movie I’m about to mention), but I think that The Expendables 3 is the best example of this. It went completely downhill compared to the first two, in no small part thanks to the choice to make them a “family friendly” PG-13. The first two were campy, ludicrous and completely over the top with the amount of blood and violence they contained, but that’s what made them awesome. When they neutered the third and took out all the fun things hoping to draw in a wider audience, we were left with a movie that was torn between being serious to make up for the lack of balls-to-the-wall craziness, and trying too hard to recapture the glory of the first one. They essentially became a trope of themselves.
On the other hand, R-Rated Mad Max: Fury Road is being called “the most intense and bruising action ride of the year”, getting rave reviews across the board. Do you think they would have pulled that off with PG-13? How about John Wick, or Kingsman: The Secret Service? I doubt it.
So, which movies do you think would have been amazing if they’d had the guts to stick with an R rating, and why?
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Last Updated: May 13, 2015