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The Sum of All Fears (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: May 31, 2002
CAP Score: 42
CAP Influence Density: 1.11
THE SUM OF ALL FEARS (PG-13) -- ...They are not the ones who have to say "No" to your kids.
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Phil Alden Robinson
Producer(s): Tom Clancy, Stratton Leopol, Mace Neufeld
Written by/Screenplay: Novel - Tom Clancy. Screenplay - Paul Attanasio & Daniel Pyne
Cinematography/Camera: John Lindley
Music: Jerry Goldsmith
Film Editing: Nicolas De Toth, Neil Travis
Casting: Rosina Bucci, Mindy Marin
Production Design: Jeannine Claudia Oppewall
Art Direction: Isabelle Guay, Andrew Neskoromny, Claude Paré
Boxart ©Paramount Pictures
Doesn't seem like a R-13, but it is. The violence was brutal as is typical of R-rated movies. Violence such as killing by cutting a throat, with cold-blooded pumping of many .45 rounds into a victim and by choking. Dogs eating murder victims didn't help the Wanton Violence/Crime score any. But then, we all know about the MPAA. They think it is okay for your kids to see such programming. Doesn't matter what you think or with what you have to battle when your youngster doesn't understand why the MPAA thinks it is okay to see it but you don't. Doesn't matter to them. The MPAA are not the ones who have to say "No" to your kids. If you do. They are just the ones who lay out the "candy." Besides, you, mom/dad, are too old to know everything.
The Sum of All Fears was a very well made movie. High powered cast such as Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman with clever and pointed dialogue with a "statement" which can lead many to believe the hidden activities of our government and of Russia are just like that which is presented. Maybe. Maybe not. But the cat-n-mouse underhanded toying with global destruction was with less concern for human life than who has the biggest stick. And who has the last strike. Who makes the biggest move. Who makes the biggest threat.
More terrorist entertainment. But this time with a nuclear bomb. A terrorist is bent on destroying the US and Russia "from within" and detonates a nuclear bomb at the Super Bowl in Baltimore after planting a trail that, to the logical, would put the fault on Russia. Ah, but the bomb did not come from Russia. It, the plutonium (the nuclear fissile material) anyway, came from US ... to the middle east years ago who were going to use it as a last resort mission if their ground forces were overrun. A plane carrying the bomb in the offensive crashed due to neglect of the pilot and was found years later by scavengers. The terrorist bought the A-bomb for $400 dollars from the scavengers.
Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) is a newly acquired, ex-Marine doctorate of the CIA. Ryan was author of the research and paper about the new Russian president, Alexander Nemerov (Ciarán Hinds). Ryan keeps telling everyone Nemerov is not behind the terrorist bombing but no one believes him. They all think the young upstart doesn't have enough history with the Agency to know anything about the deceit of espionage. Not even Ryan's boss, William Cabot (Morgan Freeman).
Russia was connected, though. Seventeen Russian scientists were working on their bomb disarmament program when Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) noted there were only 14 scientists. When asked, a Russian official indicated one was on vacation, anther was dead and the third was something-or-other: that all who were not present were accounted for. That did not set well with Cabot. He knew otherwise through "sources." As it turns out, the three missing scientists were reconditioning the aged nuclear bomb bought from the scavengers, readying it for the terrorist.
Something of reality noteworthiness is that the film depicted a Russian scientist could pick up the nuclear fissile material, the ball of plutonium, with no more than a RubberMaid(tm) gloved hand. That happens to be true - if the scientist is strong enough. Plutonium weighs more than lead. Plutonium is primarily an emitter of alpha (particulate) radiation which cannot penetrate even the hornified layer of dead cells on the outside of human skin. A sheet of paper and even a film of water, a coat of paint or a couple inches of air can stop alpha radiation. As long as it is not introduced inside the body, plutonium is not an ionizing radiation exposure risk. But since there is no layer of dead cells covering internal organs or tissues once the plutonium is inside the body, the alpha particles coming from it can damage the internal tissues about twenty times more so than gamma radiation (energy radiation) and ten times more so than beta radiation (wave/particle duality radiation) which are emitted from daughter products of the plutonium after it undergoes fission (after it explodes). The writers even accurately depicted the ball of plutonium as warm which is true when configured the way it was depicted. The writers even portrayed the nuclear bomb as not being a nuclear explosive hazard when dropped or banged around in a plane wreck which is also true. Hundreds of high explosive charges in a spherical configuration (the "soccer ball" segments seen in the movie) around the nuclear trigger (the plutonium ball) must each be detonated at the same instant for the plutonium to be compressed with an injected neutron-emitter into super-criticality fission to explode as a nuclear device. One thing about plutonium they did not mention was that it is highly poisonous chemically.
There is a great deal of high suspense and action in this intricate 118-minute movie and it will likely keep your attention throughout. But...
As I mentioned above it is R-13, nuclear grade R-13. Language was definitely of "R" caliber as was the amount of and, in some cases, the severity of violence definitely equal to that typical of R-rated features. Murder, death and assault were rampant [Prov. 3:31-32, 1Pet. 3:11, Rom. 16:17-18]. Language was typical of PG-13 [Col. 3:8] which is a slice off the top of the R classification according to Jack Valenti, president of the MPAA. Strange that he should say that if the most foul of foul words were used that the movie would be R. But I guess it is okay for your 13 year olds to use that word (plus a plethora of the rest of the three/four letter word vocabulary) since the MPAA says its okay for your kids to hear such in and as entertainment. They are the experts, right? They know that is what your kids want to hear, right? The MPAA knows better than you what is the proper caliber of entertainment for your kids, right? [2Tim. 2:5] I mean, really! Your kids hear such language everyday at school [Isa. 1:4]! Well, to that I say why is the language heard every day at school like that if not fueled BY such entertainment [1 Cor. 15:33]? Even if it is heard every day, is that supposed to make it okay [Luke 17:2]?
Sexually this movie was soap opera caliber - only flash nudity with a man and a woman in bed after spending the night together. Unmarried of course. Consenting adults and all that. They may believe consent excuses it but God doesn't. And as found by the American College of Physicians, movies with drinking and smoking increase the use of tobacco by youth (5th to 8th grade) by more than 11 times, alcohol more than 17 times. This movie has both [again 1 Cor. 15:33].
I gotta admit, though. The enemy leader Nemerov was the hero in this movie.
The listing in the Findings/Scoring section provides itemization of all issues of ignominy found.
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*******Food for Daily Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|