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Parents' guide: How 'Deadpool 2' earned its R rating

By Dave Clyde, KSL.com Contributor  |  Posted May 18th, 2018 @ 6:29pm


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THE PAST — At the age of 10, I once tried to convince my mom that I was emotionally mature enough to watch the first “Poltergeist” movie.

My strategy was to use what I perceived was my mother’s lack of knowledge in all things current as a way to talk myself into seeing the film with a friend.

I banked on the fact that she was old (at least 30 at the time) and had only old friends who were surely ignorant to popular culture since they only cared about old people things like making sure their children ate all of their dinner and bathed regularly.

My argument was that “Poltergeist” was rated PG, and therefore was safe. Fortunately for me, my mother was much more savvy to the ways of the world than I gave her credit for.

She never let me see the film because I was too young, but she did agree to a compromise. Instead of letting me watch “Poltergeist,” I could rent and watch Disney’s “Watcher in the Woods," which was also rated PG.

It's a compromise I regret making to this day. “Watcher in the Woods” scared me so badly I could not sleep for three nights after watching it. To this day I cannot hear the name “Nerak” without going to a dark place in my mind.

I share this little memory of mine not to make fun of my youthful ignorance or make reference to old movies. I bring this up to point out that not all movies with a similar rating or subject matter are created equally. That may be good to know if you have a 10-year-old trying to make the argument that they should see “Deadpool 2” because it is a Marvel movie.

In my opinion, there are two types of R-rated movies. The first is the type of movie that could have easily been rated PG-13 if the creators had taken a couple words out or cut one extra scene (“Logan” falls into this category).

Then there are the hard R-rated movies that earn their ratings because they cut out words and extra scenes that would have earned an NC-17 rating if they had been left in.

“Deadpool 2” falls solidly into the second category. Here are the reasons why.

Violence

Violence is the hallmark of the “Deadpool” franchise. It's the big reason the first film did so well and why the second one will probably do just as well.

The violence in this film is over-the-top and nonstop, but limited to the type of violence you get with good guys fighting bad guys. There are sword fights, gun fights, knife fights, superpower fights, horrible accidents — anything that could kill or maim someone is portrayed.

This is similar to the type of violence you would get in a PG-13 Marvel movie if the camera didn’t cut away from the fight at the last minute.

Blood and Gore

Following in the footsteps of the first film, “Deadpool 2” portrays extremely graphic scenes as a way to tell a joke or just give the audience that gross-out moment that shocks the viewer due to its gore and unexpectedness.

To the studio's credit, they get every bit of the audience's reaction they are going for. There is no shortage of blood, broken bones and spilled guts in this film.

If you have seen the first film you know what to expect, but the film's creators do find new ways of surprising us with creative ways of killing and maiming people.

The primary superpower of the character Deadpool is he cannot be killed no matter what happens to him, so you can imagine anything that can be done to his body will be done to his body.

It is then left to the filmmakers to invent some of the most horrific and funny accidents and battle wounds for him to fight through.

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Language

This film could have easily earned an 'R' rating on language alone. So it goes without saying that this film is filled with the type of language you probably don’t want the kids repeating when grandma is visiting.

Of course, language is more than just questionable words, it is what is being communicated.

There are a lot of bad jokes and insults to almost everyone in this film. Really no one person or group of people is safe from being a punchline in this film at some point.

I should point out that despite all of the crude language, there isn’t the type of language or message in this film that marginalizes real-world groups of people, unless you consider mutants with superpowers a marginalized real-world group of people.

Sexuality

For this movie, the filmmakers had to choose their battles, and explicit sexuality or nudity were not big parts of that equation.

There was a scene with some brief sexually explicit dialogue but did not last long and did not lead to any other sexually explicit material.

There was one scene where the naked legs, buttocks and a quick flash of some computer-generated genitals of a male child were on screen. This scene wasn’t sexual in nature but was played for an uncomfortable laugh.

Conclusion

This film is not made for or intended for children to watch.

It is a superhero movie for adults with everything geared toward a mature audience, so please be cognizant of this as your kids try to convince you it can’t be that bad if it is a superhero movie.

Of course, what you decide is appropriate for you and your children to see or not see is up to you and your best judgment. It is my goal to provide a clear understanding of what you can expect if you go to this movie or if you somehow lose an argument with your 10-year-old to let them see this particular Marvel movie.

"Deadpool 2" is rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material.


Grant Olsen

About the Author: David Clyde

David comes from a family of "movie people" of which there are actors, screenwriters, a set designer, a director and yes, a couple of movie reviewers. When David isn't busy living in the real world, he is busy living in someone else's version of it on a movie screen. David is a regular on the KSL Popcorn Report podcast. Contact him at davidclydereviews@gmail.com and on Twitter at @DC_Reviews.

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