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Is the movie 'Batman v Superman' kid-friendly?

Updated on March 26, 2016
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The Characters

Batman/Bruce Wayne, played by Ben Affleck, is a vigilante hero who has been fighting crime for about 20 years in Gotham City.

Superman/Clark Kent, played by Henry Cavill, is the god-like superhero from another planet who also works as a reporter at Metroplois' Daily Planet.

Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, is a mysterious woman who is a centuries-old warrior.

Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg, is a genius business man in the business of destroying Superman.

Doomsday is DC's version of Frankenstein's monster.

Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, is a reporter for the Daily Planet who is in a relationship with Superman/Clark Kent.

"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" finally brings DC Comics' three biggest heroes together on the big screen. Kids know Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman from various books, cartoons and animated films, and may want to see this live-action version as much as adults. Since the movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and some sensuality, some parents may be wondering if their child can see this movie.

As this is a superhero movie, there are scenes in which characters violently fight each other. The villain must also show he is bad in some way. As result, lives are threatened and two women are kidnapped. Any child not familiar with these aspects of superhero movies, should not see this movie, especially since these scenes are more intense than the cartoon versions.

The film opens with more parental deaths than a Disney movie, although the first two are familiar to anyone who has seen anything starring Batman. In fact, the film has more of a Batman feel than a Superman feel, and even features a few of Bruce Wayne's nightmares.

The scariest part for my 9-year-old was a nightmare in which Bruce is visiting his parents' mausoleum, and blood appears to be leaking from his mother's burial site before a monster comes out and attacks Bruce.

In addition to the violence, there was scene in which Lois is bathing in a tub, and later joined by Clark Kent (he stayed fully clothed). This scene is obviously to show how in love the two characters are, though it probably could have been done without Lois needing to take a bath.

Through the middle of the movie, my son appeared to be bored as he was noticeably playing with his concessions. During this time, there was plot-moving detective work that most fans would appreciate from a Batman movie.

Once the main characters were back in costume and fighting each other, and then Doomsday (not really a spoiler, he is in one of the commercials), they did not disappoint. In fact, Wonder Woman's debut is as spectacular as it needed to be, and she ends up being the main person fighting Doomsday.

And, while Lois does play the role of getting into situations where she needs to be saved, she gets the chance to be a hero, first by saving Superman, then by helping the heroes in their epic battle.

While the heroes, especially Batman and Wonder Woman, were great, this version of Lex Luthor wasn't. It is quickly explained it's his father's name on the building, which means this character is Lex Jr., and it seemed like he was a know-it-all kid playing in his father's man cave. He also had too much of a Joker vibe, which can be confusing for kids who know the DC characters.

Overall, my son enjoyed seeing the Trinity on the big screen, and was even dancing slightly to Wonder Woman's entrance music. He came away happy with the portrayal of the heroes, especially his favorite, Batman. As a plus, although it scared him at first, he was satisfied with the idea that even superheroes have nightmares.

The darker tone may not make this movie suitable for all younger fans of superhero movies, and a matinee performance may be best for some who do go, as a result. I would also recommend that parents let their children see the animated movie "Superman: Doomsday" to prepare for some aspects of "Batman v Superman."

4 stars for Batman v Superman

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