The Suicide Squad: BBFC responds to ‘shock' over film's age rating

The Suicide Squad, James Gunn, BBFC, confusion from cinemagoers, Classification Guidelines, here

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has explained its decision to give The Suicide Squad a 15 age rating following confusion from cinemagoers.

Those who went to see James Gunn’s new DC film in the UK were left surprised by the violent content, with many believing it should have been given an 18 rating.

Social media over the weekend was filled with messages from people questioning the BBFC’s decision, with one audience member calling The Suicide Squad “one of the goriest films I’ve seen in years” and “literally disgusting in places”.

In response to The Independent’s request for comment, the BBFC said: “Whilst comparatively more violent than the last film, the violence is mitigated by the film’s humour and the action-packed fantasy context.”

It said that the “the violence and gore were sufficiently mitigated” due to “the focus on action within a comic, fantastic, superhero context”.

The Suicide Squad wasn’t edited in any way to achieve the 15 certificate.

“At 15, our Classification Guidelines state that ‘violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury’,” the BBFC added.

Its classification guidelines are based on “large scale public opinion”, which is reassessed every four to five years in studies conducted on more 10,000 people. This last occurred in 2019.

The Suicide Squad, James Gunn, BBFC, confusion from cinemagoers, Classification Guidelines, here

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in ‘The Suicide Squad

(Warner Bros Pictures)

Films with an 18 certificate tend to not perform as well at the box office, meaning studios generally try and tailor big-budget releases to conform to lower age rating criteria.

The highest-grossing 18-certificate film is Fifty Shades of Grey, which amassed box office takings of $569.7m (£409.6m) when it was released in 2015.

Find our review of The Suicide Squad here.

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