The Suicide Squad viewers are expressing confusion over the film’s age certificate due to the film’s violent content.
James Gunn released the ensemble film last week to huge acclaim, with many calling it the greatest DC Extended Universe (DCEU) move to date.
However, some who have seen the film in the UK were shocked to discover just how violent the film is, with many wondering how it was given a 15 certificate as opposed to an 18.
“What the f*** do you have to do to earn an ‘18’ certificate nowadays?” asked journalist Adam Lowes, with another viewer stating: “I’m really shocked & confused as to what makes a film a 15 or 18.”
They added: “The Suicide Squad has to be one of the goriest films I’ve seen in years (literally disgusting in places) – and yet it is a 15. When I was 15 this would have shook me.”
“Someone at the BBFC must’ve taken a bribe to stop The Suicide Squad being an 18,” another cinemagoer quipped.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) website says that The Suicide Squad has been rated 15 for “strong bloody violence, gore, language and brief drug misuse”.
In a statement to The Independent, 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.
Find the BBFC’s full statement here.
The BBFC’s 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.
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.
Gunn’s film features an array of high-profile stars, including Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, and John Cena.