TonyK on 12A

In his typically incisive review of Batman Begins, TonyK goes off on a brief tangent to discuss the menace of the 12A certificate. For those of you outside the UK, 12A means that a film isn’t suitable for children under the age of 12, unless their parents decide otherwise. The result tends to be a cinema full of toddlers.

I think that it is our duty to campaign to have the 12A certificate revoked. I’m sick fed up of going into a cinema only to find loads of very young children that just won’t SHUT UP throughout the film. Even worse, is the fact that when they then burst into tears because the film is under no circumstance suitable for someone that young, the parents don’t even have the decency to take them out of the cinema. Down with this sort of thing.

My first experience of a 12A movie was, I think, Spider-Man. It’s not something I’m in a hurry to repeat: there were toddlers screaming, four-year-olds running up and down the aisles, loud demands for sweets in any quiet moments, and so on. It was more horrific than any horror film could be.

The rationale behind 12A, I’m sure, is that parents are the best judge of what their kids should and shouldn’t see. That’s a nice idea, but if you’ve ever been in a video shop while a 5-year-old tells his dad which horror movies they’ve already seen then you’ll know that some parents don’t give a shit – and the 12A certificate means they can inflict their poor judgement on everyone else in the cinema too. I can’t help but wonder whether the real purpose of 12A is to ensure that as many children as possible are exposed to movies with merchandising tie-ins.