Entertainment & Arts

Spectre violence sparked most complaints to BBFC

Spectre image Image copyright EON Productions
Image caption Spectre starred Daniel Craig in his fourth outing as 007

Spectre generated the most complaints to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in 2015, the ratings body has revealed.

The James Bond film, which was rated 12A, received 40 complaints that focused on its scenes of violence.

Released last October, it featured Daniel Craig's 007 battling a criminal syndicate.

Other films that generated public feedback to the BBFC included Kingsman: The Secret Service and Minions.

According to the BBFC's annual report, published on Friday, Spectre's distributor sought advice on how it could secure a 12A classification during the film's post-production.

"One scene involving an eye-gouging was slightly too strong for the company's preferred 12A classification," the report said.

"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.

The BBFC added that a separate torture scene involving a "larger-than-life hero" like Bond contained a "lack of detail" that made it acceptable for a 12A rating.

'Stretched on a rack'

Kingsman: The Secret Service, which starred Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton and Michael Caine, generated 38 complaints.

Many concerned the level of violence in the 15-rated comedy spy thriller, particularly during a fight scene in a church.

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. Otherwise, it pointed out, 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. They mainly concerned 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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