Suicide Squad, the DC comic-based blockbuster about a team of anti-heroes and super-villains tasked with killing bad guys in the name of good, has quite a few people pissed off, and it’s not even out yet. Critics are pissed at the studio, fans are pissed at the studio and the critics, and Mike Birbiglia is pissed at the MPAA… Wait, what?
Suicide Squad has machine gun killings and bombings and got a PG-13 rating. @Dontthinkmovie gets an R because adults smoke pot. Confusing?
— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) August 3, 2016
On July 22nd, comedian Mike Birbiglia (Trainwreck, Orange Is the New Black) debuted his second feature film, Don’t Think Twice. The film follows an improv group out of New York City that toils away in the industry before two of its members hit it big, leaving the others to realize that their big break may never come. The dramedy, which has gotten tons of positive feedback and currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, received an R rating from the MPAA, apparently because of scenes in the film which feature characters smoking weed.
Suicide Squad is a film about a bunch of psychopathic prisoners being released into the world, loaded to the teeth with everything from baseball bats to machine guns, and killing a ton of people along the way. The MPAA gave that film a PG-13 rating.
Hence why Birbiglia is pissed.
The fact that a movie that, at worst, features some swearing and weed-smoking would be rated R while a comic-based movie (which has much more appeal with kids) that is replete with shootings, bombings, ass-kickings and at least one torture scene only gets rated PG-13 certainly does seem odd. As it turns out, Birbiglia isn’t the only one who has a problem with the trend. Director Judd Apatow (Trainwreck, Knocked Up) chimed in on Birbiglia’s thread with this tidbit:
Studios own the ratings board. Violence sells so they make pot and sex the scary thing so they seem caring. https://t.co/S3VpKxUXbu
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) August 3, 2016
Do I smell a conspiracy brewing? I’ll start fashioning the tinfoil hats.