Top 10 R-Rated Superhero Movies (That Aren’t ‘Deadpool’)
So Deadpool came out and made a royal buttload of money. One thing that became a huge talking point for the film was the fact is was Rated R in spite of being a superhero movie, bringing bloodshed and some creative language to the medium. This was a big deal for the fans because they didn’t think the character would be properly represented by anything less than an R Rating. But it’s not the first R Rated superhero film. Not even close.
One of many adaptations of Alan Moore’s works – one of the most interest mature age comic book writers who also claims to be a magician – comes in at the 10th spot. The film did OK when it came out and overall it’s a decent dark fantasy with a Christian bent. Casting Tilda Swinton and Peter Stormare as an angel and Lucifer respectively makes the film a bit more interesting to watch. Fans of the series took issue with the character being made American, dark haired and a non-smoker (and they pronounced his name wrong). On the other hand, the source accurate TV series crash and burned, so who the fuck knows.
Once upon a time the British comic series 2000AD sold its flagship title to Hollywood and they turned it into a generic Sylvester Stallone actioner flick co-starring Rob Schneider. It was awful. Fast forward a few decades and they give it a second go, this time with the awesome Karl Urban showing proper dedication to the role by not revealing his face at all during the movie. With a nice, Die Hard type setting and plenty of hardcore action, plus Lena Headey as the arch-villain, this underperforming film should not have been missed.
8. Blade II
The best of the three films in this trilogy had Guillermo del Toro at the helm, giving the film more of a horror feel than an action film. There’s a lot of great horror comics waiting for the big screen adaptation, and this shows how much fun super heroes vs monsters can be. In this day and age the CGI looks laughable, but the film isn’t without lacking atmosphere.
Frank Miller had a plan. He was going to take a true story and turn it into mythology. King Leonidas is essentially a super hero character, right down to the fabulous cape. The extended battle is a visual feast, bringing the ideology behind the creation of the graphic novel to the film. Everything is bigger, better and brighter than real life and feels like a reboot of the old school Hercules films.
6. Sin City
Of course, before Zack Snyder brought a shot for shot recreation of a Frank Miller book to the screen Robert Rodriguez was bringing a shot for shot recreation of a Frank Miller book to the big screen. The starkly contrasting black and white neo-noir stories made for impressive cinematic fodder with an enviable ensemble cast filling out the distinctive roles. It took way to long to get the sequel, but it’s the original that has the best stories.
5. V For Vendetta
Alan Moore returns to the list with this adaptation of his 1980s politically inspired vigilante tome about a terrorist looking to bring down the corrupt British dictatorship. Putting aside the subsequent impact the image of the Guy Fawkes mask has had on internet culture, this is a pretty striking movie. Hugo Weaving carries an essentially faceless role with impressive skill, and Natalie Portman makes a fine lead. With memorable characters and design and a powerful finale, this is a great adaptation.
The franchise certainly lost some credit with the dopey, borderline offensive sequel. Fortunately the enjoyably offensive original is still a lot of fun, doing more with the ‘real-life’ hero concept that most of the competitors. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are charming young leads with a surprisingly heartfelt portrayal of a vigilante father by Nicolas Cage. Hit-Girl is one of the most unique, fun superheroes we’ve seen in years. Funnily enough, both cinematic versions of Quicksilver came from this film.
3. The Crow
Alex Proyas is back in cinemas this year with Gods of Egypt, but it’s hard to imagine anything measuring up to this cult classic. Brandon Lee’s infamous final role sees him as a rock musician returned from the grave to exact revenge on the gang members who murdered his fiancee and him. With a painted face and brooding attitude he’s instantly recognizable. There have been many attempts to bring this series back to the mainstream with little to know success.
Yep. Alan Moore again. Watchmen is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, graphic novel ever published. The complex and layered story of a group of aging vigilantes – and one atomic superman – who don’t have a place in the world is a masterpiece of art and writing. The movie is…surprisingly well done. The casting is perfect and the visuals are on point. A couple of mis-steps prevent it from reaching the bar set by the source material but it’s still well worth checking out.
If you’re on this list because you want to see something similar to Deadpool, then this is your number 1 pick. This is a James Bond movie done the way of Deadpool. If you need convincing, check out this clip: