Is the 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' movie kid-friendly?

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The New Characters

(see character descriptions for the team from the previous movie here.)

Ultron, played by James Spader, is an artifical intelligence created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner for peacekeeping. Since peacekeeping means ending all human life to him, he becomes the movie's antagonist.

Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, was experimented on by HYDRA and given super speed. He is known as Quicksilver in the comics, but is never referred to by that name in the movie. (This character was also in X-Men: Days of Future Past.)

Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, is Pietro's twin sister who was also experimented on, but given powers of telekinesis. She is known as Scarlet Witch in the comics, but characters in the movie simply refer to her as a witch for her mind manipulations.

Sam Wilson/Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie, first appeared in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." With the help of some Stark tech, the veteran has wings that give him flight.

James Rhodes/War Machine, played by Don Cheadle, appeared in the Iron Man movies, and gets to help the Avengers this time. He is Stark's best friend, and, as a result, got his own metallic suit for fighting bad guys.

Vision, played by Paul Bettany, is another creation of Stark's (and partially Ultron), but he's one of the good guys. His creation is a big part of a story, and more information would be a spoiler to non-comic book fans.

With the influence of cartoons featuring Marvel's superheroes, the kids may want to see the newest Marvel film, "Avengers: Age of Ultron," but parents may be wondering if it is appropriate.

The movie is rated PG-13 for "intense and disturbing sequences of sci-fi action violence, strong sexual comments, and mild alcohol."

It is the sequel to Marvel's 2012 film "The Avengers" and is the finale of Phase 2 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe overall story.

The movie opens with "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" in the middle of a battle, and the first spoken word is a 4-letter one. The character is quickly scolded by Captain America for the foul language, and Cap's reaction becomes a running joke throughout the movie, with every bad word being pointed out as a result.

My 8-year-old, who saw the first movie when he was five, got the joke and the message from Cap and the team.

"They're grown ups," he told me. "They can say whatever they want."

This same child usually crawls into my lap during scary parts of superhero movies, but didn't this time. He admitted that while nothing was scary to him, he thought the main antagonist, Ultron, would scare children younger than him.

While there is typical superhero fight scene violence, there isn't much gore. Part of this may be because most of the fighting is against androids. One of the main characters does get severely injured, but his recovery is really interesting for little scientists to see.

Another main character uses his body as a shield, and we see several bloody bullet holes as he dies. While he is a main character, his death did not affect us or my kids much.

The "strong sexual comments" were not obvious to either child (my oldest is 11), and they had no clue what the characters were talking about.

Their favorite parts of the movie were the when a character defeats Ultron, when someone other than Thor lifts Thor's hammer, and the Hulkbuster fight. They were very restless about mid-way through the movie when the team hides at a safe house.

While the obvious CGI at the beginning of the movie really bothered my husband and I, the kids did not mind it all.

The movie feels like a filler-movie, but has some very important information that will be needed going into the next phase of Marvel movies. As a result, this makes it a must-see for anyone, including kids, following the full story being presented by Marvel through all of the company's movies. A child who may not be into the full story and may not be used to superhero movies or the stories of these characters may not be a good fit for this movie. Because of the issues with this movie, it may be better for home-viewing for some children.

Note: There is a mid-credits scene (in fact, it presents a moment one of my sons was waiting for), but no end credits scene.

4 stars for Avengers: Age of Ultron

© 2015 Samantha Sinclair

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