If you've seen Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, you know very well that this is the MCU's darkest release to date. Director Sam Raimi managed to distinguish between PG-13 fun and R-rated mayhem, but the film slipped dangerously into the latter several times. So how did Marvel convince the MPAA to give the Doctor Strange sequel a PG-13 rating? Variety has looked into the matter and points out the rating table inconsistency and exactly how the MCU version likely avoided an R rating.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is rated PG-13
For "intense sequences of violence and action, chilling imagery, and some language." Variety notes that if the film were a more independent release and not supported by a large entity like Disney, the film likely would have gone through more difficult stages to maintain its rating. According to Variety, "Feeling that parents are more concerned about sexual exposure than bloodshed, the ratings committee has generally made a deliberate decision to overlook the blatant brutality and violence depicted in major motion pictures. study.
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There is also the question of what genre this film belongs to. Kevin Feig made it clear when the movie was announced that it would be the MCU's first horror film. It is undeniable that the film touches on this genre several times. It's the first MCU movie with legitimate jump scares, and much of the film's visuals are saturated with horror tropes. Some of them are reminiscent of Raimi's The Evil Dead or Drag Me to Hell, but the MPAA may have deemed the production a superhero film rather than a horror film, allowing it to be rated PG. There are scenes of people being cut in half and another where someone's head explodes from the inside. I guess it's a matter of scene rendering that determines how MPAA works. Variety also points to Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. This film shows a soldier killed by a grenade and several men drowning and being burned alive, but it lacks bloodshed and the end result was rated PG-13. On the other hand, they also watch a movie like Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy. This movie was rated R due to a scene where Martin's Neal Page drops numerous F-bombs after his car is stolen. Speaking of Drag, Me to Hell, this Raimi production was also rated PG-13, though it looks like one of his R-rated efforts. Variety believes that because it mixed horror and dark comedy, it was able to fly under the MPAA's radar.
Personally, I can say that I have a friend who took his 11-year-old son to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and once he finished he sent me a message right away.
I thought I was going to have a conversation about the quality of the film, but instead it was about the graphic nature of the film. His son was sometimes terrified by what he had seen. He thought the movie should have been rated R and was surprised it wasn't. I can say that I've seen much worse in legitimate horror movies and what was presented in the Doctor Strange sequel was tame by most standards, but I can understand the surprise that Disney was allowed to go this far and still so get the grade you want. to maximize your financial success. I guess if the violence doesn't feel real and seems straight out of a comic, the MPAA is giving a little slacker in the rating the movie will receive.