X-Men: First Class – Why the Profanity?

Did someone just say a bad word?

I loved ‘X-Men: First Class.’ The special effects, characters and story are all compelling, and you can read my full review here. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 Reels, partly because I wanted more action and partly because of something else.

It’s rated PG-13, and I guess the MPAA lets you have a certain number of f-words at that rating. My question is, why include them at all? There was one f-word in this movie, and I totally get why they included it. When Charlies Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) are rounding up mutants to join the program, they visit Wolverine (Hugh Jackman in an uncredited appearance), who tells them to f-off.

I know Wolverine is kind of a surly character, so I understand they were trying to convey that by giving him a major attitude. Still, they could have done it differently. Even a “Get lost” would have worked, and wouldn’t have been so jarring as the f-word in that particular instance.

The movie has some other PG-13 related issues, like the opening scenes in a Nazi concentration camp where a young boy sees his mom shot point-blank, all because his telekinetic powers didn’t measure up to the guy in charge. Again, I understand that they wanted to be sure we knew why he was angry and disillusioned, and would fight that the rest of his life. But that scene almost seems like it ventures towards an R-rating.

MPAA ratings often seem willy-nilly to me. Sometimes a PG is more like a PG-13. Some R movies could be PG-13s with just a few tweaks here and there. But it does bother me when they throw in profanity that isn’t really necessary to the storyline.

Any thoughts on profanity in PG-13 movies? If you know an otherwise great movie has a jarring f-word in it, are you ok with your 13-year-old seeing it?


Images: 20th Century Fox


  1. Expletive:BMP Avatar

    For years they’ve been saying that before Wolverine’s adamantium, that he was an animal, and a wanton killer. So telling those losers to bugger off, seems like child’s play compared to his legend.

    1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

      True, and I totally get that. They’re giving us some character development for Wolverine in that one little scene. It just seemed a little out of place to me, when the language in the rest of the movie was tamer.

      Maybe I’m off-base, and it’s hard to categorize these comic-book movies as either family or grownup movies. They’re usually a little of both. But with a PG-13 rating, there’s probably going to be kids in the 10 to 12 range watching it, too.

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