What Parents Need to Know About 'Avengers: Infinity War'

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Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures & Marvel Studios
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) come together to stop a villain from taking over the universe in "Avengers: Infinity War."

“Avengers: Infinity War” (rated PG-13) is an action-packed sequel to 2012's “The Avengers” and 2015's “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” In "Infinity War," the Avengers team up with allies from the Marvel universe to defeat the intergalactic villain named Thanos (played by Josh Brolin.) Thanos is a Titan warlord who commands massive armies known as the Chitauri and the Outriders, and is on a mission to collect the six Infinity Stones for his gauntlet (or glove) which empower him to rule the universe. Having the six-stoned gauntlet also will also enable Thanos to erase half the universe and save his people. 

Coming together to stop Thanos are Marvel superheroes Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Spider Man (Tom Holland), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and the Guardians of the Galaxy, led by Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana.) 


Mystery of the Infinity Stones

In the Avengers series, the Infinity Stones represent six different elements of the universe that create life and power. Before Thanos can use the power of the Infinity Stones,  he must integrate all six stones into his infinity gauntlet. Once Thanos possesses the six Infinity Stones, he can demolish 50 percent of life from the universe with a snap of his fingers.

The Infinity Stones are important plot devices in other Marvel films. In "Captain America," there was a cosmic cube which caused the creation of Captain American himself.  The biggest issue in "Guardians of the Galaxy" was for the villain to get the orb and thus the power stone.  In "Thor: The Dark World,” it was the Aether, now held by the Collector. The most important relic in "Doctor Strange" was the Eye of Agamotto which turned out to be the time stone. Loki's scepter held the mind stone, which was revealed in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and put into vision to create the most powerful synthetic human ever. All of those objects are powerful in their own movies. 

The film’s climax takes place on different planets as Thanos stops at nothing to obtain the stones in his quest to control the universe.  It leads up to a massive showdown with Thanos and his henchmen versus the Marvel superheroes.


Appropriateness for Children

“Avengers: Infinity War“ is dark, stressful and violent. Sensitive children may be frightened by this end-of-the-world apocalypse. It’s a nonstop fight with heads being smashed into walls, fist fights, stabbing, strangulation and impaling. There is also an intense betrayal as the villain throws a member of his family off a cliff as a human sacrifice. This aspect of the film could be disturbing to children.


Final Take

What's commendable about this movie is that the characters work together to overcome obstacles and possess courage in the midst of opposition. The movie indirectly points to the futility of war and that no one really wins in a battle of mass destruction. There are diverse characters in this film, from comic superheroes to strong female leads. Comic book fans will enjoy seeing all their favorite superheroes (with their different personalities) come together in one movie.  It’s interesting to watch them respond in a high-crisis situation. If you’ve familiar with “Guardians of the Galaxy,” you will appreciate the references that are woven into the story.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is the most intense film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films so far, due to the villain's genocidal quest and the grave consequences for the well-known characters.There is some humor and lighter moments, but overall the film is dark and grimy. The biggest issue is the violence, with people being tortured, crushed, electrocuted and impaled.

Without giving too much away, the ending of the film is shocking and unexpected. Be sure to hang around after the end credits for a bonus scene, which adds a new twist to the story.