The R-Rating As a Selling Point: When Films Become Preoccupied With Their Rating

Tom Jolliffe looks at when films become pre-occupied with their rating….

We’ve seen this become increasingly more common. A reboot, a remake, or just as a counter to other films in the genre, there comes a desire to market a film as being (almost rebelliously) R rated. This weekend in fact, sees a prime example. Guillermo Del Toro made an enjoyable Hellboy in 2004. It might not have been as violent as some of the comic book incarnations. He made an even more enjoyable sequel. Visually dazzling, engaging, wry, witty and imaginative. Were Hellboy fans left feeling particularly short-changed? I never got that sense generally. Did the ‘soft’ rating leave them wishing that Hb was a bit fruitier with his language and a bit more violent in his dispatching of villains? I never particularly got that sense either.

We now have a reboot starring David Harbour in place of Ron Perlman.
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