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A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
The Recruit (2003), PG-13
Analysis Date: January 31, 2003
CAP Score: 38
CAP Influence Density: 1.18
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Production: Spyglass Entertainment
Distribution: Touchstone Pictures
Director(s): Roger Donaldson
Producer(s):, Jeff Apple, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman, Ric Kidney, Megan Wolpert
Written by/Screenplay: Written by: Roger Towne, Kurt Wimmer, Mitch Glazer
Cinematography/Camera: Stuart Dryburgh
Music: Klaus Badelt, Ramin Djawadi
Film Editing: David Rosenbloom
Casting: Robin D. Cook, Marcia Ross
Production Design: Andrew McAlpine
Art Direction: Dennis Davenport, Eric Hunsaker
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6, Granbury, TX
Colin Farrel plays James Douglas Clayton, an MIT whiz kid with a talent for computer code. He developed "Spartacus" which was able to override any computer displayed information with counterfeit information. Clayton demonstrated his new software by displaying his face on every screen in a large computer show. After a demonstration of replacing Sony's display at the computer show with a display of Dell's logo, Dell tried to recruit Clayton. And so did Walter Burke (Al Pacino) of the CIA.
Burke is the senior instructor for The Farm, CIA's training camp. Burke is a "scary judge of talent." Clayton appears to Burke to be prime material for a NOC, a nonofficial cover operative. An NOC is one who stands out from the rest of the trainees and gets the really secret assignments. Clayton is chosen by Burke in part because of Clayton's father, Edward was a CIA operative and spying is in Clayton's blood. Clayton's dad died in a plane crash over Peru in 1990 when Clayton was a wee lad. Burke knew Clayton's father since Edward was with the CIA. That was part of the lure of Clayton joining the CIA. Maybe through the CIA Clayton could find out more about his dad and his dad's death.
Among the recruits is Layla Moore (Bridgette Moynahan). She is important to the plot for more than one reason. One of the reasons is that she is important to Clayton ... as a sexual conquest and a bed partner. Yes, there is intercourse and stripping for it in this PG-13. Twice. No nudity, but nothing is left to the imagination. Er, yes, there is nudity but somewhat obscured through a shower curtain. There is no doubt, though, that the individual behind the shower curtain is an actress rather than an actor. And nudity is seen which is revealed from the rear view as one drops her shower robe from a couple inches below the belt line up. [Mark 7:20 - 23, 1 Cor. 6:18 - 20]
Layla is suspected by Burke as being a double agent who is preparing a super computer virus that can infect every computer on the planet which uses an electrical outlet. National defense would be crippled. Burke hired her just to investigate her. But Burke knows that Clayton possesses the skills to counter the virus. Clayton is assigned to get the information needed to stop her. But there are so many twists and turns to the plot that "Nothing is ever as it seems."
Beware, mom/dad, that there are also many issues of programming that used to be typically found in R-rated features. Indeed, this PG-13 is truly an "R-13." Abduction by brutal force. Much gunfire to kill. Graphic gunfire deaths (defensive killings). The use of firearms to control. Uncountable lies. Intercourse with no gender-specific parts seen. Twice. And there is smoking and drunkenness.
"Yeah, but smoking and drunkenness are part of everyday life!" Why do you think they are? I will share with you the expertise of the American College of Physicians about the influence of drinking and smoking in and as entertainment.
A recent study revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in entertainment leads to an undeniable increase in alcohol and tobacco abuse. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. The report further states the prevalence of having tried smoking without parental knowledge was 35% for those with no restrictions on viewing R-rated movies, 12% for those with partial restrictions, and two percent for those with complete restrictions. The prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was 46% for those with no restrictions, 16% for those with partial restrictions and four percent for those with complete restrictions. Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? Whether the movie is rated R or not, the focus is the influence of drinking and smoking in and as entertainment. While this finding speaks volumes about the influence of popular entertainment, it also speaks to parental control, doesn't it, mom/dad?
Further, Harvard educated child developmental expert Dr. Karen Nelson, Developmental Psychologist and Professor of Psychology agrees with me that entertainment violence can plant aberrant behavioral templates. The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry have agreed that violence in movies can and does beget aggression in youth. And God says so [1 Co. 15:33]. Professor Nelson also agrees with me also that other negative behavioral expressions such as arrogance, rebellion, hatred in entertainment can plant behavioral templates as well. If these behavioral expressions can implant behavioral templates, what is there to say that sexual immorality in and as entertainment does not do the same?
Dr. Nelson agrees with me that any behavioral expression can be shaped by observation of behavior in entertainment, good or bad, and that aberrant behavior or change in attitude or coping skills caused or catalyzed by the influence of entertainment may manifest as an entirely different expression than that observed: that an implanted behavioral template can be and often is indelible and does not have to manifest as the same behavior by which it was planted; that the manifestation may surface as something entirely different than the observed behavior which implanted it. Want more? Professional counselor Doctor Larry Gilliam and Dr. Nelson agree with me that it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully comprehend the consequences of his/her actions or to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality: that such capabilities do not typically plateau until the early 20s. How much more evidence of the influence of such presences in and as entertainment do we need? Think of the issue this way. Did you ever get misty-eyed at anything you saw/heard in the movies? Have you ever gotten mad or happy or sad or "energized" at anything you saw and heard on the big screen -- ever?
Regarding the sexual programming in such entertainment as The Recruit, though it may not be literal or "hard-core pornography", such promiscuity in and as entertainment should be viewed as "lite pornography" or "teen pornography" since the end result of emboldened experimentation may be the same. In a study reported to the 1986 Attorney General's Commission on Pornography by Dr. Jennings Bryant(a), 600 American males and females of high school age and above were interviewed about their "out in real life involvement with pornography." He found that 91% of the males and 82% of the females admitted having been exposed to X-rated, hard-core pornography. Two-thirds of the males and 40% of the females reported wanting to try out some of the behaviors they had witnessed. And, among high school students, 31% of males and 18% of the females admitted doing some of the things sexually they had seen in the pornography within a few days after exposure. This clearly suggests the modeling-effect or imitative-learning effect, as well as "triggering effect," that even non-violent pornography has on human sexual behavior in some individuals. Do you want your 13 year olds modeled by such exposure? That we as a people have been desensitized to it by so much of it and progressively invasive and graphic does not weaken its power of influence or even addiction.
The 1986 Attorney General Commission on Pornography defined pornography as material that is "predominantly sexually explicit and intended primarily for the purpose of sexual arousal." Hard-core pornography "is sexually explicit in the extreme, and devoid of any other apparent content or purpose." For those moments the child (which includes at-home teens) views onscreen promiscuity, it is "predominantly sexually explicit and intended primarily for the purpose of sexual arousal" to be sure.
In addition to the issues of sexual immorality, drinking/drunkenness [Luke 1:15, Prov. 20:1] and smoking [1 Cor. 6:20], The Recruit contains multiple uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Col. 3:8], God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11], and a single use of the most foul of the foul words normally associated with R-rated films
Please be sure to read the listing of issues in the Findings/Scoring section.
(a) Attorney General's Commission on Pornography. Final Report Volumes 1,2. Washington, DC: GPO, July 1986
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
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):
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|NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery 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 of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.|
|"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 more than eight 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.|