*This article contains spoilers for ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’. Don’t read on if you haven’t seen it!
‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ is already in theaters and what everyone agrees on is that it is the installment of the most terrifying Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. We are not surprised to have Sam Raimi behind him, director of the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy, especially known for his work in horror films with the ‘Death to Hell’ or ‘Drag Me to Hell’ franchise. The violent and graphic character of the film has surprised so much that throughout the weekend of its premiere it was unleashed an intense debate on networks about whether they have fallen short with their age rating or not.
The sequel to ‘Doctor Strange (Doctor Strange)’ has a PG-13 rating in the United States, which indicates to parents that its content may not be suitable for children under 13 years of age. In this case, the MPA (Motion Picture Association) decided to assign this rating for scenes of “violence, terrifying images and foul language” (Variety). While some agree with this, there are those who believe that the film should actually have been Rated-R, since according to them it is much more violent than what is usually seen in tapes for more than 13 years.
In addition to its intense Sam Raimi-branded horror scenes, the public has specifically highlighted a sequence in which Marvel tests the limits of said rating by showing us a succession of deaths each more violent and explicit at the hands of Wanda Maximoff. In this segment we see the Scarlet Witch murdering the Illuminati of Universe 838 one by one, using the most twisted and macabre methods. For example, Black Bolt (Anson Mount) is killed by his head exploding from the power of his own scream after Wanda seals his mouth shut, or Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) is split in two by her shield (although the camera doesn’t see it). explicitly teaches, suggests it through montage, and shows us Peggy Carter bleeding from the mouth).
How did Disney get away with avoiding Rated-R? According to The Hollywood Reporterthe MPA most likely considered that, in this case, the violence is not so serious as it is executed by superheroes and villains in a fantasy context. Despite the fact that some parents in the United States, where there is more puritanism about it, have shown concern about the film, without a doubt the bloodiest and most brutal of the UCM to date, there are those who defend the rating by providing classic examples of the 80s such as ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ or ‘Gremlins’. In fact, the former is credited with generating the PG-13 rating, which was introduced in 1984 as a middle ground between PG (suggested parental guidance) and Rated-R (under 17s require parent company). or adult guardian).
Clearly, ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ belongs to that PG-13, although some of its scenes may challenge it. However, it is nothing that we have not seen before several generations of moviegoers who grew up with scenes as explicit as Mola Ram ripping out a man’s heart with his bare hands or the Gremlins murdering a helpless old woman.
smashing at the box office
Debates aside, ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ has made a huge impact at the box office over the weekend. To no one’s surprise, the Marvel movie has become the best cinematic premiere so far in 2022, with 185 million dollars raised in its first days in the United States. In Spain, the film starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen has also obtained the best opening of the year with 5.5 million euros and 783,942 viewers according to Disney Spain, which It represents almost 80% of the total box office this weekend.