Borderlands Movie Gets Surprising Rating

The Borderlands movie's surprising rating indicates several shifts in content that existing fans of the franchise may not be happy about.

The Borderlands movie has received a rating that will likely come as a surprise to many who are already familiar with the franchise, given that the rating in itself is a massive departure from the norm for Borderlands games. Existing fans of the franchise have known to expect a number of changes given that Borderlands the movie has never been described as a fully faithful adaptation, but without a doubt a PG-13 rating attached to the movie certainly takes a moment to digest. Specifically rated as such for "intense sequences of violence and action, language and some suggestive material," it may sound like enough to anyone unfamiliar with the Borderlands style already established by the games – it's a bit hard to swallow for someone with a more established opinion. 

The rating is more concerning, I believe, than any other deviations Lionsgate has made for Borderlands to differentiate the movie lore from the game lore. I personally think audiences would have been more likely to accept a number of changes to Borderlands' overall story if it still felt like Borderlands – with a PG-13 rating rather than the expected R rating, there's an indication that several of the beloved aspects that make up the unique Borderlands stylization will not be present to the degree many would likely hope for. Given that the majority of the game franchise – and certainly all of the mainline games in the franchise – have an M rating making them suitable to persons ages 17 and older due to mature themes. In the games this rating is given specifically due to the level of gore, violence, sexual themes, and foul language in the Borderlands games, aligning it naturally with an R rating for a live-action adaptation.

Instead, movie viewers will view the world of Borderlands through a lens suitable for those 13 or older, with parental guidance suggested for those under 13. The fact that there's any version of Borderlands appropriate for anyone under the age of 13 to witness – parental guidance or not – is in itself fairly baffling, and the PG-13 rating opens up quite a few questions. What does Mad Moxxi look like with a rating suitable for teenagers as young as 13, how does Handsome Jack speak without profanity, and what does Borderlands look like without gratuitous blood spray? For the answer to these questions we'll have to wait until the Borderlands movie premieres August 9th.