Last night my husband, our teenager and I went to see the long-anticipated Avengers Infinity War. We are big Marvel fans in our house (especially them, but I DO enjoy the movies a lot!), and we were excited to see it. Going in, I had a vague idea that the movie was going to be dark (POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD), but as I had never considered taking my younger children, ages eleven and seven, I wasn’t worried about it. My eleven-year-old daughter has seen some of the Avengers movies but isn’t SO into them that she would want to see this; my seven-year-old simply isn’t old enough for a PG-13 movie, and definitely not THIS one. But I’ll get to that in a minute as this Avengers Infinity War review gets going.
Now, let me say that my ten-year-old cousin also attended this movie with us (and his parents), and I think it was appropriate for him to do so. He and his dad are very into Marvel, spend time each week at the comic book store, and have a vested knowledge of ALL the Marvel storylines. In addition, his dad is very good about talking with him and taking time to discuss the ins and out of plot lines. This child has a good knowledge of what is reality and what is fantasy. He loves his Marvel characters, but he also knows he’s NOT going to be Spiderman when he grows up. I say all that to say, all ten-year-olds are NOT created equal. When my son, now fourteen, was ten, he would have been far too emotionally SENSITIVE to see this movie. As parents, you need to really think about what your kids can and cannot handle. Some Avengers movies are all fun and games, even in heavier moments, compared to this one. This one is really just NOT fun. Or games. It’s WAR.
Ok, now we’re getting into the nitty gritty. If you want ABSOLUTELY ZERO SPOILERS, skip to the part below that says “RECOMMENDATIONS” in italics and bold!
Avengers Infinity War Review for Parents
As I was preparing to write this Avengers Infinity War Review, I came across a review from children’s pastor Evan Weppler on Facebook. He’s a guy who, according to his Facebook post, loves the Avengers and was already preparing to see the movie again the next day because he loved it so much. BUT, as he is in children’s ministry, he had some serious cautions for parents. As his full-time job is shepherding and guiding young children’s hearts, I was very interested to read his note to parents, and I found that it hit the nail on the head, so I’m going to quote him heavily. Weppler begins:
Parents, I encourage you to think carefully before taking your kids to see “Avengers: Infinity War.”
I will NOT give details of events in this post, but I will write about the end of the film so this has POTENTIAL spoilers. As someone who HATES spoilers, I understand if you want to avoid this, but as someone who works with kids, I need to write this. If you want to skip to my RECOMMENDATIONS at the end, please feel free do.
I have never written this type of warning before, so I hope you take my words to light. I love movies and believe that most films, from action to comedy to dark drama and more, can contain great beauty, tell compelling stories. This movie is excellent, contains many exciting moments and keeps you pulled in the whole time. No doubt you, and your kids, are excited to see this movie. Please keep reading.
The film ends with a very somber, very serious, very sorrowful, very troubling conclusion. This is a two-part film, so there is hope for the future; but if this film had another tagline, I’d say it would be “Hope Destroyed.” I believe there are many situations that might never be remedied. (POTENTIAL SPOILER) More than half of main characters are dead at the end of this film. This was expected, but it was very hard to watch. Personally, I felt crushed. If your child has a favorite character, loves a specific hero, and gets emotionally invested in their stories, this could be heartbreaking.
Parents, I am with Weppler here. I KNEW this was going to not be the feel-good movie of the century, but even so, I left the theater feeling CRUSHED. If your child has recently suffered loss of a loved one, has had childhood trauma or a serious illness, I would not take them to see this film — there is a devastating amount of loss that is difficult and overwhelming when projected on a giant screen. Again, you know your child best. Some should not see this film for a few years, and some simply need to wait to see it on a smaller screen, in the emotional safety of their homes. Weppler continues:
As is typical for an action movie, there is violence. But we often ignore that or tell kids to look away. (POTENTIAL SPOILER) The deaths at the end of the film are not violent, but could be extremely frightening, disturbing, and tough for tender-hearted kids. People disintegrate slowly before your eyes. And they feel it happening. And people who care about these people witness it happening. The filmmakers have made a very powerful film with an unforgettable ending. It brings to mind the pain of losing someone to disease or cancer, the helplessness of living in a world filled with death, one’s inability to do anything. As a Christian, it even stirred within me a yearning for the souls of those who do not know Christ—and will face death apart from Him. As an adult, I could process all of this. But children… many might not be able to handle such loss.