Whilst traveling through the interwebs today I came across some interesting news. It appears that the DVD release of Batman vs. Superman will include an “R” rated version of the film. Immediately upon seeing this I could feel my head shaking before my neck got the message. My first reaction was to think who could that possibly be for, and after taking some time to think about it I still feel that way.
I’ve made no secret in saying that my excitement for BvS has diminished with each passing trailer (minus the final one where some hope was restored). If interweb chatter is to believed it appears that Warner Bros has also become quite nervous about this film, and are expecting to lose quite a bit of money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure opening weekend BvS is going to do a killing, but I’m curious to see what the drop off is in it’s second week. The movie clocks in a little over two and half hours and can we say we’re really surprised by this considering how much they’re going to try and cram in this thing?
I get it the “R” rated super hero is all the rage since Deadpool has been cleaning up the box office, but let’s not be mistaken, Deadpool is not the first “R” rated comic book movie. Movies like Kick Ass, Blade 1-3, Kingsmen, and Watchmen were all comic books and all slapped with “R” ratings because their stories dictated it. Any one who has ever read a Deadpool comic knows the humor and the violence tote the line, and in order for the movie to give the character justice an “R” rating was needed. Movies like Watchmen and Kick Ass were books that had the violent scale cranked up to eleven and the language a bit harsh. To give those movies “PG-13” ratings would have watered down the product. The truth of the matter is not every comic book or super hero movie is intended for large audiences. Sometimes these movies are made for the fans who love these books and want to see them portrayed properly on the silver screen.
When it comes to giving BvS an “R” rating it seems like a last ditch cash grab, before the movie even comes out. This “R” rating reeks of Warner Bros trying to milk as much cash out of this film as they possibly can, but to what extent? Let’s consider the subject matter here. Our main characters or Batman and Superman. Superman has forever been known as the boy scout of comic books, unless you saw Man of Steel when he killed Zodd by breaking his effin’ neck (?!?!?!?!) so what possible actions could he take to garner an “R” rating? Excessive limb removal? Jay and Silent Bob like swearing? Sex? Why? How does this help the character? In fact it doesn’t. It tarnishes the legacy of a character that his been around for decades and is worshiped by many. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Superman fan for many different reasons. (and as the movie approaches maybe I’ll delve deeper down that rabbit hole), but I know enough where I want to see the character treated with the respect he deserves. The boy scout of comic books should not, I repeat, should not be killing anyone so what’s the point of the “R” rating?
Let’s move on to Batman cause this one will actually be pretty easy. What is Batman’s one golden rule, boys and girls? That’s right! Batman’s golden rule is that Batman doesn’t kill! That’s what separates him from the monsters he chases down. Yes Batman can be violent, brash, and overly excessive but that’s part of his charm. At no point should Batman be put in a situation where he’s gunning down the bad guys. Which is why in the Doomsday trailer it alarms me that Batman appears to be holding a shotgun (?!??!?!). That’s not Batman. I can see Batman’s violence pushing the envelope towards an “R” but let’s remember there’s no need to be gratuitous. He’s still Batman and even though he’ll be grizzled and angrier then we’re used to seeing it doesn’t mean that attitude change should bring about an “R” rating.
That leaves us with the villains and outside of Lex Luther and Doomsday I’m not entirely sure who that will be. Could either of these characters get an “R” rating? Meh. Lex doesn’t need it, it’s not like he’s going to be gunning down people point blank range. That’s not his style peeps. Doomsday? I suppose because he’s a monster (I also suspect he’s some sort of dead Zodd like creature), but I’m not going to seeing BvS for horror movie monster mayhem. I’m going to see BvS because I want to see Batman and Superman throw down. It’s in the title (#teambatman #supermansucks).
So, why the “R”? Sex? Doubtful. Rape? God I hope not. Torture? Maybe but again why? Swearing? By who and why does this movie need enough swearing to get it an “R” rating? While seeing the headline that a DVD release of BvS seems sexy upon first glance it just makes me question the purpose. Desperation hovers heavily over this headline, and this movie needs all the positive buzz it could garner. Warner Bros and DC started hedging their bets early when they chickened out with the original release date. For those of you who don’t know BvS was supposed to be released head to head against Captain America: Civil War, but when DC found it out the movie was going to cover the Civil War story line they moved up to March. That immediately displayed a lack of trust in the film, and with blood in the water Marvel (because they can and I love it) is releasing the second season of Daredevil on the same day as BvS. Daredevil, now there’s a character who deserves an “R” rating unlike the boy scout and the guy who never kills. It’s starting to look like the real losers of Batman vs Superman are going to be the audience, and that’s too bad.