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6/14/2002
Bourne Identity Rated PG-13?!

There are spectacular action sequences in Universal's The Bourne Identity, starring Matt Damon, that made the largely male audience of critics cheer and impressed me as well, but what was the MPAA thinking when it rated this film PG-13 for "violence and some language"? This film was violent in graphic detail and the "some language" was "g--d-mn" repeated, along with other expletives, many times. It appears, more and more, since the MPAA followed FAB's lead in the use of content descriptions with its categories, it feels this makes it permissible to give films that clearly deserve "R" ratings a more mild classification. The film stops short in a romantic scene, only implying intimacy, which suggests the MPAA felt the violence and strong language,absent sex, was not enough to warrant the "Restricted" rating. It's interesting how the U.S. consistently sends the message that "doing what comes naturally" is scandalous and spraying someone with bullets is more acceptable. (Michele Williams)