Monday, May 7, 2012

Christian Perspective Movie Review: Should You See Avengers?

If you're one of the three people who haven't seen The Avengers don't feel bad. It's probably because you had a really busy weekend, or maybe you were just being a good parent and you weren't sure if it was right for your kids. I can't do anything about your busy weekend, but hopefully I can inform you on whether or not The Avengers is right for your family.

As a movie I thoroughly enjoyed The Avengers. There were zero moments where I felt bored. The whole flick is a ride. I also laughed out loud during several parts. My wife told me I was laughing so much I was embarrassing her (and it takes a lot to do that). Maybe it was just my type of humor, but I really appreciated the lightness of the film. If you've ever read and Avengers comic this movie has the same tone. Sarcastic humor mixed with intense fighting and incredibly high stakes.

The best movie Hulk ever

I was also pleased that Marvel has finally figured the Incredible Hulk out. I've seen both recent Hulk movies and I wasn't fond of either of them. Hulk was so much fun to watch. He steals the scenes he is in. And as an added bonus Hulk is not embarrassing to look at. In the two prior movies hulk fell way to deep into the uncanny valley. I don't know what they did different, but it worked!

If the only thing keeping you from this movie is whether or not it's entertaining, stop reading. Go see it.


Is The Avengers a Christian Movie?
No it's not. It's a comic book movie. I would hope no one would go into The Avengers expecting Fire Proof or Courageous. That being said there are positive elements that run throughout. Captain America is a wholesome character from a different age. I get the feeling that me and him would get along. I love his courage, leadership, and integrity. One line from Cap made me woot and laugh all at the same time. In reference to a fight between Thor (the god of thunder) and Loki (his evil brother) Captain America is told not to get involved because he would be easily destroyed by these god men. Cap ignores her warning and assuredly states, "Ma'am, there's only one God, and He doesn't dress like that."

Other characters in the movie aren't as wholesome. Tony Stark (Iron Man)is fun to watch, but it should be noted that he's is the flip side of Captain America. He has little respect for authority, he drinks a lot, he's extremely sarcastic, and mostly selfish. Yes, in the end he gets the job done, but Tony Stark is not the man I want my boy to grow up to be. That being said, most of the hilarious lines came from Mr. Stark.

Thor and Cap

I should also warn you that Loki and Thor are constantly called gods. This may be confusing to young children. Us adults understand the difference, and teenagers will know it's all make believe, but be careful bringing young kids into The Avengers.

I'm happy that evil is clearly defined in this movie. We aren't pulling against a misunderstood villan. We are pulling against an evil force that is even sometimes portrayed in a satanic light. Loki, the main villan, wears rams horns at several points in the movie. There are clear lines between good and evil. The Avengers are good and Loki and his army are evil.

Is this Movie Violent?
It would be difficult to have a super hero movie without some violence. There is one scene where an eyeball is minced by some sort of scanner. There was never any blood or gore during that particular scene, but the sound was enough to make my stomach turn. In another scene where a guy is stabbed through the back one can see the blade come out the front of his body with some blood on the blade. Understand that evil was doing all these things.

Of course there is lots of fighting. Punching, hurling, flipping, kicking, blocking, shooting, and explosions all happen. There is very little blood, but if your kids are anything like mine they'll come out of the movie pretending to be an Avenger well into the night-- fighting and all.

If you've seen any of the other recent Marvel movies (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man 1 or 2, or Hulk) you know what to expect in the violence category.

How's The Cursing?
Like many of the Marvel movies before it The Avengers has very little cursing. S.O.B is used at least once and there are a few uses of mild curse words like Da** and H*ll. Other very mild expletives are used, but this movie minute for minute probably has less cursing than the average episode of Law and Order.

Black Widow, performed by Scarlett Johanson, is played rather tame by today's standards. She does wear a tight black leather suit through out most of the movie. It is also unzipped to where there is just a tiny bit of cleavage showing. At the beginning of the movie Pepper Pots walks around in some short shorts, but by Hollywood standards they're rather tame. There are a few small kisses exchanged.

It was great to watch a super hero movie without a love interest. There is no damsel in distress. The Avengers are fighting for Earth.

Who Should See The Avengers?
If you love comic books and their movies, adventure, good triumphing over evil, well choreographed action, and you're at least 10 years old then The Avengers  is the movie for you. Few Super hero movies do it this well. This is probably the best super hero movie since The Dark Knight and the best Marvel movie. I really liked Iron Man 1 and The Avengers gives you all that and more. I could imagine seeing this movie at 10 and loving it. Before you bring the whole family keep in mind it's rated PG-13. So my suggested age is actually lower than the rating board's. As always, I recommend seeing movies of all ratings before you send your kids. I hope this review has been helpful in your decision making.

PRO TIP: Stay all the way to the end of the credits. ALL THE WAY TO THE END! There are 2 extra clips.

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