They’re called Superheroes for a reason.
The old school ones – Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman – and the newer ones like Black Panther – they live in our, and especially our kids’, imaginations as everything we wish we could be, as beings who can rescue us from all evils, literally save the world, and then keep coming back for more.
But that’s not exactly what happens in the new Avenger’s movie, Avengers: Infinity War.
And this is where I alert you to the spoiler I’m about to discuss…
[Insert suspenseful music that gives you time to look away.]
I’ll also take this opportunity to make it crystal clear that I’m not advocating not seeing the movie! No way. I’m simply sharing this information because I plan to prepare my 10-year-old son for what I’m about to reveal, so he’s not so shocked that his movie experience is tainted; and I’d like to give other parents the chance to do the same if they wish.
To give you more time to avoid the spoiler if you really don’t want to know (although I’m not quite sure why you’d still be reading now) here’s a snippet from our parenting podcast:
Holly Wainwright defends shouty parents, on The Glorious Mess. Post continues after…
Ok, so here’s the SPOILER:
A lot of the superheroes perish at the end of the movie.
If you’re anything like me (a cool mum, not a regular mum), who’s into superheroes, you’ll understand when I ask, how does that even happen?
Aren’t they supposed to have weaknesses that temporarily disable them, but ultimately, they’re immortal?
And how did Disney, the makers of the film, do this to the heroes that inspire us/our kids and give us/our kids hope that good can triumph over evil?
But it doesn’t matter how: all that matters is that they. Die. One by one, they meet ghastly and super sad endings, with all the pathos you would expect when superheroes cease to exist.
And it’s devastating.
The scenes are designed to bring all the feels for adults… so just imagine the impact on the youngest audience members – the pre-teens. The movie is rated M, meaning that group will potentially be watching; and they will be kids like my son, who loves the Avengers superhero gang.
This isn’t like finding out Santa Clause isn’t real. Superheroes are obviously fantasy – that’s a given. But in some ways, that makes their death kind of worse. It’s like a random kick in the guts and a brutal crushing of dreams and a dose of real life.
Which, of course, makes great cinema. But it’s undoubtedly a little intense for kids who haven’t yet worked out that the world can really suck sometimes, as adults have.
Yes, it’s ‘just’ a movie. It’s all CGI. I’m not arguing that my kid would be as devastated as he would be if I, for example, died during the screening. Ultimately, we know all the superheroes will come back – we already know there’s a sequel to the movie being released next year. So, it will all be fine in the end.
But for a lot of kids out there wanting to see their heroes in action, and be entertained in another world, this may not be exactly what they were expecting.
So as a mum of a kid who would be crushed to see his heroes suddenly annihilated at the end of a movie he was really enjoying, and at a time when his popcorn has probably run out – oooph, double whammy – I’m making the choice to prepare him, so he can accept the fate ahead of time, and just enjoy the ride.
Avengers: Infinity War is playing in cinemas now.