Story

Avengers: Age of Ultron brings the Avengers team together again – Iron Man (Robert Downey Junior), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). The movie begins with them attacking the stronghold of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann). Von Strucker has been using an ancient Asgard relic called the Sceptre to transform human subjects into superhumans. These superhumans include orphaned twins Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who can manipulate matter and control minds, and her twin brother Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who can move at speeds faster than the eye can see. Together the twins are capable of testing the Avengers to their limits. Following a prolonged battle, the Avengers capture von Strucker and retrieve the Sceptre, but the twins escape.

Back at the laboratory, Iron Man and the Hulk are intrigued by the power of a crystal embedded in the Sceptre. They decide to use the crystal’s power to create the ultimate planetary guardian – an artificially intelligent robot called Ultron. Unfortunately their creation turns out to be a psychopathic robot that wants to destroy humanity. To stop Ultron and save the world, the Avengers must work with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Themes

Artificial intelligence; genetic manipulation and human experimentation; global annihilation

Violence

Avengers: Age of Ultron has intense sequences of action violence and some psychological violence. It includes battle scenes, chaos and mass destruction, many deaths, and some blood and gore. For example:

  • The opening scene shows battle violence, chaos and destruction. Tank-like vehicles fitted with laser cannons fire bolts of energy that blow up buildings and hurl soldiers through the air. There are many explosions and fires. The Avengers use weapons including a power hammer, guns, and a bow and arrows to kill soldiers.
  • In a battle between the Avengers and hundreds of Ultron robot clones, robots are shot with exploding arrows, blown up, torn apart, decapitated and smashed. One of the Avengers bites chunks out of a robot while another rips out a robot’s mechanical heart.
  • The Hulk causes mass destruction and chaos when he goes on a rampage in a city centre. Ironman tries to subdue the Hulk by attacking him. They fight, causing mass destruction. An elevator full of people is thrown from a building, but Ironman rescues it. At the end of the Hulk’s rampage, the scene shows a woman covered in ash with a bloody gash to her face.
  • Ultron rips off the front of a speeding train crowded with passengers. The impact causes the train to derail and crash through several city buildings before stopping.
  • An entire city is lifted out of the ground and high into the sky. This results in catastrophic earthquakes and giant chasms appearing in the ground. Bridges are torn apart and multistorey buildings collapse. Cars fall from destroyed bridges and people in cars fall from their vehicles and plummet towards the ground before being rescued.
  • In a laboratory Ultron ruthlessly kills many unarmed scientists with laser fire.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Avengers: Age of Ultron has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • At times Scarlet Witch has red glowing eyes, and tendrils of red flame escape from her fingertips. She hurls balls of red flame at her enemies. She also places her fingertips on the heads of victims, sending out tendrils of red flame that enter the victim’s head. This causes her victims to have horrific hallucinations.
  • While hallucinating, an Avenger sees the ground covered with bloody dead bodies and a dead woman with her torso full of arrows.
  • At first the robot Ultron has a scary deformed appearance. Later Ultron appears stronger and sleeker but more menacing, and he threatens to tear humans apart.
  • An Avenger stabs an electronic arrow into a person’s forehead, resulting in lightning-like tendrils that cause immediate paralysis.
  • In one scene Thor’s body is engulfed by tendrils of lightning. He appears unharmed by the attack.
  • There are disturbing images of a young girl with no mouth.
  • An Avenger with a wound to his stomach is healed with laser surgery. A surgical laser beam is fired at the wound. In a later battle scene the same Avenger reaches down and touches the side of his body, and his hand is covered in blood.

From 5-8
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, Avengers: Age of Ultron has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group.

For example, one scene shows a young child in danger of being shot by automatic cannon fire. One of the Avengers uses his body to shield the child. The Avenger is shot multiple times by gunfire and collapses to the ground, dying soon after. The young boy who is rescued lies unconscious with a bloody gash on his forehead.

From 8-13
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

Avengers: Age of Ultron has sexual references and innuendo. For example:

  • ‘What if you can’t get it up?’, ‘If we get through this I’ll hold your own’ and ‘Multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit’.
  • A man tells a woman that he can’t have children. In return the woman explains that she was sterilised in an initiation ceremony as part of an assassin training program.
  • When talking about a man and woman who are attracted to each other, another man says, ‘They better not be playing hide the zucchini’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Avengers: Age of Ultron shows some use substances including social drinking at parties.

Nudity and sexual activity

Avengers: Age of Ultron has a few scenes that show mild sexual activity and partial nudity. For example:

  • Some characters kiss and flirt briefly.
  • A man leaves a shower with a towel wrapped around his waist. A woman who is waiting for him says suggestively that she should have joined him in the shower.
  • Women wear tight-fitting and revealing clothes.

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

Avengers: Age of Ultron has some coarse language and name-calling throughout.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the latest in the series of movies based on Marvel comic book characters.

It’s an action adventure movie targeting teenagers and adult fans of the series, with the usual characters, fast-paced action and computer-generated special effects. It’ll probably attract some tweens and younger teenagers, but it is definitely not recommended for children under 13 years. This is because it has violent and disturbing scenes, which include battles, mass destruction, many deaths and some blood and gore. We also strongly recommend parental guidance for children aged 13-15 years.

The main message from this movie is that when people work together as a team and support each other they can overcome overwhelming odds.

You could talk with your children about what the movie is saying about reckless scientific experimentation and its results.