Deadpool has done something no other R-Rated film has done and that’s make over $500 million dollars worldwide in just a a couple weeks, that’s nucking futs!
It made me want to go back and compile a list of comic book movies that worked as Rated-R adaptations. Now, just because I say comic book does not mean only superheroes with capes and the ability to fly, but the properties that had adult content through their print days and saw that transition into Rated-R films.
8. Dredd (2012): A cult classic whose impact didn’t reach me until about a month ago, I had seen the film when it came out only to be disappointed and overwhelmed by the colorful gore and flared style of camera work, but when you go back knowing what the film is, you can’t help but sit back and munch on some popcorn and enjoy. Karl Urban is a great Dredd and doesn’t even show his face through the whole movie, but he still has us captivated through this South Korean style of action movie – made in America – that holds nothing back with the psychedelics and violence.
7. Blade (1998) & Blade II (2002): Why does Blade never get the credit he deserves? A Marvel property like those movies you and your mom see all the time, Blade was Rated-R when this genre didn’t know what it even was. It brought a black lead actor, blood and guts, but a fun and timeless peek into what a genre could eventually be. Blade oozed cool like blood from his fangs and the action just as hard. One of the trailblazers for a genre when there were failed Punisher movies and straight to DVD Marvel movies (their terrible), Blade stood strong in the dark waiting to appear to us.
6. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014): An homage to the spy genre as well as the stylings of graphic novels and comic books alike, Matthew Vaughn is no stranger to comic book adaptations nor fearless film making that pushes the limits to what audiences think they know about their films. Not only was it a surprise to all us, mainly because it was an unfamiliar property, but it was a property we quickly grew to love and admire over time. It also gave us the stuttering Oscar-winner from The King’s Speech and made him an action star we wish we could be.
5. V For Vendetta (2005): Hugo Weaving’s smooth and unflinching voice is given to the vigilante simply known as V as he saves a young woman (Natalie Portman) from the oppressive fascist government and the scum that breed the streets of this broken down London. An epic that hits right in the relevancy about terrorism, corruption, and “the people” rising to fight for their rights and freedom is something that will never tire out nor will the alliteration filled monologue spoken by V in the beginning of the film.
4. Sin City (2005): This is a criminally undevalued film for what it truly is. It’s a monochromatic crime drama through the eyes of Robert Rodriguez and the literature of Frank Miller telling a story about the filthiest people in this black and white neo-noir. Sadly, no one takes noirs as seriously as they did in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, but that doesn’t take away from the brilliant narrative that follows true to one of the best graphic novels of all time. Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis deliver unlike they have before only to impress us further.
3. 300 (2006): You know the quotes, you know the blood, and you know the rippling abs. This was the film that broke director Zack Snyder onto the scene and brought us screaming brute of a Scot Gerard Butler to the forefront. Highly stylized with action we had never seen and a color scheme that throws more red and tannish golds than the San Francisco 49ers, it’s a brilliant action film that does the age of Greeks, Romans, and Spartans alike in a way we can enjoy.
2. Deadpool (2016): Some may think this is too low and others will think it’s too high, but I’m not some. Deadpool was easily one of the best comedies, let alone comic book adaptations, I have seen so far, and the financial and critical success tells it all. Reynolds was born to play this role like Jerry Rice was born to catch footballs. It has everything people wanted and more. From romance, to comedy, to action, to heart, to wall shattering narration (literally), and so on. Deadpool is great.
1. Watchmen (2009): This is my list so stop your bitching and moaning that Deadpool isn’t automatically number one, I loved Deadpool the film and will always love his comics, but Watchmen was the un-makeable film that managed to stay true to a story that has more twists and turns than a crooked road and was brought to life by the nerdy hands of Zack Snyder to every fans pleasure, but not to the masses pleasure sensors. It’s a gorgeous film with quality acting and inspired casting that will hold up for years to come as one of the most faithful adaptations of any print work to film we may likely see.
Tell me your favorite rated-R comic book movie! I know I left some serious contenders off of here, but these were the most obvious genre picks of them all I wanted to acknowledge.