Hellboy – the latest R-rated Superhero Movie
In cinemas tomorrow, Hellboy adds itself to the rapidly increasing list of blockbuster ‘R-rated’ superhero films. With less-mainstream films such as Kick-Ass and Watchmen attracting success, R-rated superhero films needed that push into the mainstream to ensure studios an R-rated film isn’t as much a risk as they might think. With the smash hit successes of Deadpool and Logan, it appears that more and more superhero flicks have taken that step into more dark and edgy territory, and Hellboy does exactly this.
The new Hellboy film features as much blood, violence, strong language and dark humour as you’d expect, which we’re celebrating by taking a look at some of our favourite R-rated superhero films of recent years. Stranger Things star David Harbour takes on the titular outing as Hellboy and Big Red is back ladies and gentlemen.
Opening the door to a future of amazing R-rated superhero films, Deadpool perfectly encapsulates what a comedic R-rated film should be. Featuring over-the-top gore, incredibly dark humour and a role Ryan Reynolds was born to play, Deadpool delivers on every front. 20th Century Fox were initially hesitant to take the leap of faith and commission this unique and outrageous film and if it wasn’t for an ‘accidental’ footage leak, it might not have ever been made. The success of Deadpool also potentially led to other R-rated films, including Logan, Joker and Hellboy which shows why it absolutely deserves it’s spot on this list.
Kick-Ass asks and subsequently answers the question ‘what would happen if a normal guy puts on a mask and becomes a superhero?’. Hapless and unpopular high schooler, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), attempts to replicate what he reads in comic books by donning a brightly coloured spandex suit and the persona, Kick-Ass. Setting out to fight crime, Dave discovers superhero work is a lot harder when you’re not super. But from failing to retrieve a lost cat to taking on a mob boss armed with a jetpack and bazooka, Kick-Ass is not for the faint of heart as it features some intensely gruesome scenes, including microwaved alive or getting trapped in a car crusher. The strong language also produces some laugh-out-loud moments as 11-year-old Hit-Girl doesn’t shy away from regularly dropping f-bombs throughout the film. Although not technically about superheroes, Kick-Ass delivers in all you could hope for from an R-rated superhero film as it’s perfect mix of violent action and dark comedy make this a fantastic heartfelt parody of the genre.
Unlike the other films on this list, Logan has a much more serious tone, utilising its R rating to tell a brutal story about one of Wolverine’s final missions. Hugh Jackman had been playing Wolverine for 17 years before he delivered a phenomenal final performance in Logan. Set in the year 2029, Wolverine is one of the last remaining mutants as none have been born for 25 years. Logan is taking care of an old, sick Charles Xavier when he is forcibly given the task of escorting a young girl across America. Logan offers what many Wolverine fans had been asking for for years, a gruesome, badass and emotional story which allows Jackman to deliver one of his best performances in the role. Whether you’re a fan of the X-Men or not, Logan proves to be a must watch as one of the best superhero films of all time.
Although we’ve mentioned the pivotal Deadpool, its sequel also deserves a mention as the highest grossing R-rated superhero film of all time. After the success of its predecessor, Deadpool 2 closely mirrored its popular mix of dark humour and bloody violence as the film continued to follow Wade Wilson’s escapades as the bad-mouthed anti-hero Deadpool. As with the first, Deadpool 2 is filled with gory violence, badass action and black comedy, which ticks all the boxes of what we want from an R-rated superhero film. A hilarious outing for an incredibly popular character that shows no sign of slowing down.
See David Harbour, Ian McShane and Eastenders’ Big Mo (Laila Morse) in cinemas tomorrow
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.