Logan pulled no punches, and its R-Rating had a significant part to play in that, though it might not be for the reason you think.
Logan director James Mangold spoke about his Hugh Jackman Wolverine sendoff at the Writers Guild Association Beyond Words panel, including why it was important for the film to have an R-Rating (via CinemaBlend).
"You have to have a slightly off-pedal goal for your film, and the people who are gonna go "What the f*** is that 8-minute scene between Professor X and Logan? That's like 8 minutes of two guys in a tank talking'. "And it's like 'Yeah. that's not gonna change because the vibe of this movie is an adult drama'. That's why, for instance, we wanted an R-rating," Mangold said.
He stressed that it was more about what comes with anything bellow an R-Rating as opposed to an excuse for more gore or violence.
"It wasn't because of the violence and it wasn't because of the language, but because I didn't have to write a movie, and neither did my compatriots, for 11-year-olds," Mangold said. "If we had a rated-R movie there were gonna be no Happy Meals. There can be no action figures. There was gonna be no marketing on Saturday morning cartoons or anything like it, so that suddenly you're not making a movie written for someone under 14, 15. And that changes the length of scenes. It changes what they're talking about."
The heart and soul of Logan is in those extended scenes between Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Xavier (Patrick Stewart), as well as the interactions between Logan and Laura (Dafne Keen). You're allowed to let a scene breathe in a different way in a movie like this, and it seems the R-Rating helped that happen.
Logan currently holds an 87.36 on ComicBook.com's Composite Rankings, placing it in the #2 spot all-time. It also holds a 4.44 out of 5 on ComicBook.com's User Rankings, also placing it in the #2 spot. You can submit your own score for the film here.
Logan is available now on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD.