In the rare instances when an R-rated superhero movie comes along, it’s simply naive to think that kids won’t see the flick. If you asked the young comic book fans in your life a few months after 2017’s “Logan” or 2016’s “Deadpool” came out, there’s a good chance they’d breathlessly recount every plot point as if it were the newest Disney/Pixar film. Whether it’s a “cool” uncle, an unlocked iPad, or a cable channel, somehow they’ll track it down.
It makes sense, then, that “The Suicide Squad” — which earns its hard R in the first five minutes of the film — will most likely be your little comic lover’s next favorite film. But just because kids will figure out a way to see “The Suicide Squad,” that doesn’t mean they’ll get it — and even if they “get it,” the doesn’t mean they’ll appreciate it. Think back to when you were a kid and would somehow catch a horror movie you weren’t supposed to see. The results were a mixture of imagery, confusion, and whole lot of your imagination to fill in the gaps.
Movie stars start sucking on each other’s faces, and you need to imagine what happens after the scene fades out; references are made to extreme violence and torture, and your imagination takes you as far as it can go. Ultimately, these things depend on your upbringing, what you’ve been exposed to thus far, and — hopefully — how willing the adult in your life is to have a conversation with you afterwards about what you saw and put it in a context that helps you develop as a human being.
Is it the end of the world if a 13-year-old sees Harley Quinn in the throes of passion with a handsome dictator? Or witnesses a few dozen CGI soldiers being torn apart, decapitated, and swallowed whole by King Shark? Or hears Peacemaker‘s theory that the word “Starfish” is code for a certain body part? Well, that depends on the child.
Below is a list of “R-rated” moments in “The Suicide Squad” likely to soar over the heads of kids and teens who might somehow see the film. Adults will understand, enjoy — and hopefully find an appropriate way to explain, if asked. Ultimately, the bottom line is that sharing a movie with another person — even a younger one who’s likely to see it anyway — can be a special, bonding experience. As the adult in their lives, it’s your job to walk them into the bold, crude world of adult themes — and laugh together when Ratcatcher II threatens to send a rat up the Thinker’s butt, even if you have to explain why he replies that he might like that.