Home ENTERTAINMENT Reviews | The sequel to “Doctor Strange” is PG-13. That’s...

Reviews | The sequel to “Doctor Strange” is PG-13. That’s because it’s for teens.

Placeholder while loading article actions

The brewing debate over the MPA rating of director Sam Raimi’s ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ is theoretically about the tricky gray area separating a PG-13 movie and an R-rated movie. In truth, it’s the latter. effort by fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to convince the rest of us that these are adult films for adults and deserve to be treated and rated as such.

The administration of MPA classifications and ratings is primarily for consistency. As Joan Graves, then president of the group, repeatedly noted during a 2013 panel at SXSW moderated by Alyssa Rosenberg of The Post, the interest of the MPA rating committee is to provide information to parents while balancing the concerns of over 300 million people. living in regions that sometimes have radically different preconceptions about raising children. Even parents who disagree with each other about what’s appropriate need to have a frame of reference when deciding to let their 14-year-old wander into a movie unaccompanied.

So what would be the case for giving the PG-13 movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” an R rating? Writing in Variety, Clayton Davis gives the argument its best shot, arguing that, “with brutal scenes of people being cut in half, shocking jump scares and a sequence that is a terrifying (albeit terrific) ode to Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining,’ we can safely classify this entry as the most ‘mature’ MCU outing yet.

Meanwhile, perpetual jitters on Twitter suggested the film’s level of gore was too intense for normal viewers and warranted a trigger warning beyond the MPA rating.

Still, that seems a bit overkill. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is as much a PG-13 movie as any of its predecessors. Which is essentially the only way we have to judge the ratings, as they’re all relative by design.

There is no bad language or sex to speak of. And the violence is well within the bounds of other PG-13 offerings: most of the action is of the CGI flickering finger variety, with a slightly more intense sequence featuring a handful of multiversal heroes new to us serving as flesh. canon which, frankly, is the only thing that goes from a PG movie to a PG-13 movie.

The “tone” of “Multiverse of Madness” is slightly harder to quantify than the swearing, sex, and beatings. But we don’t have to look far to see a similar offering: Raimi’s ‘Drag Me to Hell’ is infinitely meaner, grittier and uglier than ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, and this film has also got a PG-13. rating when it hits theaters.

As a parent, I probably wouldn’t let my daughter go see “Multiverse of Madness.” But that’s mostly because she’s 6 and not, say, 14. In other words, it’s because she’s under 13, an age that seems, more or less, about right for a movie of this type. The PG-13 rating exists for a reason, and those reasons are “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (which despite extracting a still-beating heart caught a PG) and “Red Dawn” (the bloody sans shamelessly first frame PG-13), borderline movies that weren’t quite R-worthy but were probably too intense for small children.

But really, the debate here isn’t whether Marvel’s latest offering is appropriate for kids; the question is whether they are suitable for adults. The suggestion that “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is an R-rated movie has more to do with the demand that these movies be taken “seriously.” The strident belief that the movie about wizards and witches traversing the multiverse is an R-rated adventure is an embracing cousin to the strident belief that MCU movies owe Best Picture nominations as a marker of how serious they are.

There remains a fervent belief among comic book fans that the genre is the Rodney Dangerfield of filmmaking, a belief fueled by actors who react with outrage whenever you suggest that paid work in a children’s film is not not equivalent to high art. No matter how many times you channel Don Draper and shout “that’s what the money is for” — and “Multiverse of Madness” will do a ton of it — fans will demand that respect come with lucre. An R rating would confer that respect, the recognition that, hey, this is a movie for people who can vote and go to war.

The MPA’s job is not to convince adult audiences that their residual belief in the childishness inherent in comic book movies is wrong. This is to guide parents and help them decide what is right for their youngest wards. In the case of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, they did a good job.

If you take your little kid to see a movie with a PG-13 rating and he ends up with nightmares after watching a giant Lovecraft monstrosity get his CGeyeball ripped out of his head, well, that’s on you. And if you’re spending so much time justifying that same trip to the movies as a major artistic experience, it’s up to you to consider, too.

#Reviews #sequel #Doctor #Strange #PG13 #teens