Violence and fighting scenes are common in movies; that doesn’t come as a shock. What does come as a shock is that violence, particularly gun violence, is more common in PG-13 rated films than R rated films. Recent studies show that gunfire scenes in PG-13 films have been on the rise and will continue to do so.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is the organization that regulates the ratings for movies. Movie ratings are based on the use of sex, language, drugs, and violence. Though the usage of gun violence in modern PG-13 rated movies exceeds that of the R rated movies, violence in movies is usually measured in how much blood and gore is shown instead of the actual amount of violence. A scene featuring someone getting thrown out of a ten-story building without showing what will inevitably happen to that person is deemed less violent than a scene displaying someone getting his or her head shot off with blood splattering.
In many American action movies, you don’t necessarily see the consequences of the violence. It’s common in Japanese films to see the person who was shot scream in pain and horror and die slowly or watch their families mourn and suffer. In American films, we see people get shot, thrown out windows, be in horrible car accidents, and blown up without any real consequences. Japanese films focus more on the suffering than the aggression which draws more attention to what’s happening in the scene.