PG-13 superhero films are cut and edited in such a way that it will appeal to the masses. Unlike Deadpool, whose R rating didn’t allow for families to bring their young kids to enjoy the foul-mouthed trigger-happy mercenary. But that didn’t necessarily stop the film from being a huge hit at the box office two weeks in a row. And of course following such a success, you’ll see a couple of studios try to mimic it, without having a clue about what makes an R-rated comic book superhero film really work, as Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn bluntly put it earlier last week.
Now comes word that Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is getting its own R-rated cut that will be released exclusively on home theater. But is the “Ultimate Edition” of the film really something to get excited over, or is it just another excuse to sell more copies of Blu-rays and DVDs or get more digital downloads?
The announcement of an R-rated Ultimate Edition for the Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice home entertainment release came in yesterday, and was discovered by FilmRatings.com. At first, it may sound like some sort of knee-jerk reaction to mimic the success of Deadpool‘s box office reign. But this really wouldn’t be the first time that a film that was released into theaters as PG-13 got an R-rated/director’s uncut version for the home entertainment release. More so, Zack Snyder has released director’s cuts for Watchmen and Sucker Punch.
One of the most notable comic-book films that also got an uncut edition for the home entertainment release was The Wolverine. While the word “uncut edition” may sound appealing, at first, it really doesn’t add much other than just spilling a few more gallons of blood and using more mature dialogue. So basically, it doesn’t add to the narrative. Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies also got an extended cut home entertainment release that was rated R due to the fact that there was a bit more violence than its theatrical cut. Just throw in few f-bombs in place where it wasn’t in the theatrical cut and some CGI blood and you got yourself a (poor excuse) for an Uncut/Director’s Cut/Ultimate Edition/whatever helps you sleep at night.
While seeing a more mature throw down between Batman and Superman is something I’m sure everyone would like to see, the time of it all seems odd. Why not just announce an R-rated cut after the film has made its theatrical run? With this announcement, I’m sure there will be some of us wondering what kind of violence we could have seen between these two heroes that could have made a PG-13 film go R. Not sure if that is going to be more of a distraction or just plain irritating.
We shouldn’t attribute Deadpool‘s success as the reason we are getting an R-rated Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Like many of the PG-13 films that got an Uncut release that came before it Dawn of Justice is practically finished, and probably has a few left over scenes with just a few more drops of blood, that have more violence, and some more suggestive dialogue. Overall, it doesn’t really add much to the narrative. However, DC films have been known to be a bit darker in tone and more mature than their competitors over at Marvel Studios. But still, an Ultimate Edition isn’t going to change how we see Dawn of Justice in theaters.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016.