NZ Herald 11 Dec 2012
James Bond films are more than twice as violent as they used to be, researchers from Otago University have found. The finding comes as no surprise to a local criminologist, who says film violence has become more extreme to pull in young audiences – some of whom identify with the violence to the point they commit brutal acts themselves. Researchers analysed 22 films in the Bond franchise, from Dr No in 1962 to Quantum of Solace in 2008, to test the theory that popular movies are becoming more violent. Not only did the newer Bond films feature more violence, there was an even bigger increase in the amount of severe violence – acts likely to cause death or injury if they occurred in real life.
…Bob McCoskrie, director of conservative lobby group Family First, said the findings did not surprise him at all. He said film classifications were looser now than a decade ago, which was helping to normalise violence, bad language and sexual content. “Society simply responds to that, and this study is a classic example of how far it’s going,” he said. “I think we’d be naive to think that we can continue to feed ourselves violent images and from there try to argue it has no influence on our actions or our attitudes – especially perhaps for younger people.” Chief censor Andrew Jack said societal attitudes towards the likes of violence and sex had changed, and that was reflected in the types of films being made. But he disagreed there had been a discernible loosening in the classifications given to films.