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Spectre draws most complaints to BBFC of 2015


Story by Jack Foley

JAMES Bond movie Spectre attracted the most complaints to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in 2015, according to the ratings body.

A total number of 40 complaints were received that focused on the scenes of violence in the film – most notably an eye gouging sequence involving one of the main bad guys played by Dave Bautista.

Spectre, which saw Daniel Craig playing 007 for the fourth time, was rated 12A when it was released in October.

According to the BBFC’s report: “One scene involving an eye-gouging was slightly too strong for the company’s preferred 12A classification. We therefore suggested reductions to this scene. What remains in the classified version of the scene is a brief implication of what is happening, with only limited visual detail.”

Another scene, showing the bloody aftermath of a suicide, was similarly reduced.

But a separate torture scene involving a “larger-than-life hero” like James Bond contained a “lack of detail” that made it acceptable for a 12A rating.

Other films that generated public complaints to the BBFC included another of last year’s spy films, Kingsman: The Secret Service, as well as animated movie Minions.

Kingsman, starring Colin Firth and Michael Caine, generated 38 complaints, most of which focused again on the level of violence for a 15-rated comedy spy thriller – and, in particular, during a fight scene in a church.

On this occasion, the BBFC said it saw a version of the film before it was complete and “offered advice” on how to achieve the distributor’s desired 15 rating. Had the advice not been followed, the film would have been classified 18.

“While there are some strong moments of violence in the film, they are relatively brief and do not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury to the extent they require an 18 classification,” the BBFC said.

U-rated animated comedy Minions received 16 complaints, mainly concerning a scene set in a medieval-style torture dungeon.

“The Minions are stretched on a rack, where it is apparent that they do not come to any harm, and this develops into them slipping unharmed through a noose and playing with the gallows,” the BBFC said. “The scene takes place in an unrealistic, comic and slapstick manner which is likely to be familiar to young viewers, who expect the Minions to survive. The realistic risk of harmful imitation is very low indeed.”

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