For parents, superhero films can be a source of apprehension. Unlike the Batman of 1989, today’s Dark Knight films journey through the deeply disturbed minds of people who become mass murderers and vigilantes. In Iron Man, Tony Stark is imprisoned in a post 9/11 torture chamber in Afghanistan and emerges a superhero. The reflections of reality are what can turn an action film into a horror film for a child.
Not so with The Avengers, which is the ultimate superhero movie – a film fanboys, moviegoers, kids and parents can all love without reservation. Director Joss Whedon manages the impossible: he puts all of these unbelievable characters of lore into our modern-day world in a way that’s believable, but not realistic – an important distinction to parents.
Kids love action, and action and violence tend to be an inseparable combo. In The Avengers, the violence is smartly of the over-the-top comic book variety: superhero versus superhero or superhero versus alien army. The weaponry and accessories, like Loki’s scepter and the alien battleship, look like they might’ve been created by a 3rd grader on the corner of his homework – that’s a real credit to the designer. In fact, it’s easy to watch the action sequences as if the actors were actually action figures. The Avengers will stir up imaginations and provide material for the superhero battles that will play out with 4-inch dolls in playrooms across the globe.
Here are three other films in theaters that may appeal to kids:
The Pirates! Band of Misfits. This sharp, silly comedy is a perfect for young children. An inept pirate captain and his crew set out to win the Pirate of the Year Award but become the Band of Scientists instead after meeting up with Charles Darwin.
Chimpanzee. The film about baby chimp Oscar trying to find his place in his tribe should be the new standard to which all nature films aspire. Kids and parents will be riveted by the astonishing cinematography, Tim Allen’s witty narration and, most importantly, the moving story which is funny, emotional, dramatic, action-packed and so incredible it might not be believable if it wasn’t true.
LOL. If Hannah Montana fans want to see this comedy, the joke is on them. Much like the actress’s own reputation, Miley Cyrus plays a teen who pushes the boundaries of sex, drugs and drinking in a way that may make parents uncomfortable.
To find out what kids think about The Avengers and other films, go to www.KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics.