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Quantum of Solace: MPAA gives ‘Bloodiest Bond’ a PG-13

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace

Empire magazine calls the forthcoming Bond adventure Quantum of Solace the “Bloodiest Bond Ever,” but a new TV spot reveals the film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for “intense sequences of violence and action and some sexual content.”

I’m the last person who’s gonna kvetch about gratuitous sex and violence in a Bond flick, but I’d like to take the opportunity to point out once again that the MPAA has its head up its ass.

I haven’t seen Quantum of Solace, but past experience shows the MPAA has tended to let Bond movies off ridiculously easy when it comes to ratings.

Consider the previous Bond outing, Casino Royale, in which 007 was tied up naked while Le Chiffre tortured him by repeatedly whacking him on the balls. Granted, the camera never moved in for a leering close-up of Daniel Craig’s swollen and bleeding nutsack, but that scene disturbed me more than a lot of R-rated violence I’ve seen. I dunno. Maybe it’s guy thing.

Here are some other examples of Bond blood ‘n’ guts that the MPAA seems to have had few qualms about:

  • Live and Let Die, rated PG, shows 007 dispatching Caribbean drug kingpin Kananga (aka Mr. Big) by inflating him to death. In his dying moments, Mr. Big gets really big before popping like a balloon. He actually bears an uncanny resemblance to Fat Albert before he pops. There’s no gore to speak of, but it’s a disturbing visual nonetheless.
  • For Your Eyes Only, rated PG, has 007 trapping Belgian hit man Emile Leopold Locque in his Mercedes. The car teeters on the edge of a precipice. Although Locque has been pretty well subdued, our hero kicks the car off the cliff, anyway. The car plummets and as it rolls, Locque’s body is thrown out the window and onto the jagged rocks below. Damn.
  • License to Kill, rated PG-13, features a Tony Montana-knockoff named Franz Sanchez. Sanchez feeds CIA agent Felix Leiter to a shark, sticks one of his own henchmen in a hyperbaric chamber to rupture his head, and skewers another with a forklift. Also, Benicio Del Toro stars in an early role as Sanchez’s unfortunate right hand man. Del Toro gets it when he falls into what can best be described as a giant food processor.

So, yeah, it’s fair to say the MPAA has given the Bond franchise a lifelong license to kill.

J.L. Sosa is a freelance writer, photographer and horror filmmaker. He's burdened with an irrational fear of spiders and clowns. He loves (in descending order of magnitude) his girlfriend, his pets and spinach.

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