Story

The Avengers begins with the Tesseract, which is an inactive alien artefact and a source of untold renewable power. For several decades it has been in the safekeeping of a covert national security agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Without warning, the Tesseract suddenly activates and opens a portal to a distant galaxy. Exiled god Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steps through the portal and steals the Tesseract, placing the Earth in dire peril. He plans to use the Tesseract to create a stable space portal that will allow an army of aliens to invade and conquer Earth.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. To stop Loki and the alien invasion, he forms the Avengers, a team of superheroes that includes Loki’s brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Bruce Banner/the incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson). The Avengers initially find it difficult to work together as a team but manage to sort out their differences. But then Loki uses the Tesseract to open a portal for the aliens to invade Earth.

Themes

Superheroes; alien invasion; world domination

Violence

The Avengers contains intense action violence with numerous deaths, but there is minimal blood and gore. For example:

  • Loki uses a power staff to fire bolts of energy, killing several people. He uses brute strength to throw people against walls and through the air. He also throws knives at several people, which kills them.
  • Loki uses his staff to bash a man across the back of the head and then hold the man down. He stabs the man in the eye with a large three-pronged tool that scans images of the man’s eye.
  • Loki uses a bladed staff to stab a man through the back. The blade comes out through the man’s chest. There is some blood on the blade and the man’s lips. Later the man lies dead with his eyes open.
  • Dozens of people are shot and killed with automatic weapons and handguns. Some victims are shot at point-blank range, although there is minimal blood and gore.
  • Hawkeye ruthlessly shoots men with arrows, mainly in the chest, and he also shoots several aliens in the face. On several occasions, Hawkeye uses arrows that explode on impact, which causes structures and equipment to explode in flames.
  • The movie contains several car chases. People in the cars shoot at each other and try to ram each other off the road. They drive the cars in a very reckless way and crash into each other. The cars roll over and explode in flames.
  • Black Widow is bound to a chair, and several soldiers surround her. A soldier hits her across the face with his hand. He threatens to push her over a ledge and then forces her mouth open. He picks up a pair of pliers as if he intends to torture her by extracting her teeth.
  • Black Widow effortlessly and ruthlessly kicks, punches and throws her attackers around. Some scenes include the sound of bones breaking.
  • Several scenes show fierce battles between Loki and the Avengers. Superheroes and gods are thrown hundreds of metres through the air after being hit on the head.
  • Thor uses a large hammer as a weapon, which he either throws or uses to strike his attackers.
  • The Hulk rips a plane apart then grabs hold of the ejecting pilot and throws him through the air.
  • The Hulk chases Black Widow, striking her and sending her flying through the air and against a wall.
  • The Hulk grabs Loki and slams his body into the ground many times. This leaves Loki lying unconscious on the ground.
  • When an army of humanoid aliens comes through the space portal and attacks a city, crowds of people run screaming and confused. Aliens fire laser beams at cars and buildings. Cars explode in flames, flip over and fly through the air. Buildings explode, and rubble falls onto the streets and people below. Giant alien spacecraft cause mass destruction as they crash through city buildings.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:

  • The movie has scary images of threatening humanoid aliens and giant alien spacecraft that look like centipedes with snapping jaws.
  • In one scene Bruce Banner changes into the Hulk. His muscles suddenly begin to get bigger, ripping his clothes as he transforms into a giant, green, snarling, ogre-like creature.
  • People escape from a large army base. The army base is engulfed in a nuclear-like explosion, and the entire complex collapses into the ground. A woman in a car is trapped as the base collapses, but she survives unhurt.
  • Loki can take possession of people’s minds by touching them with a power staff. Their eyes change into black orbs and then take on a crystalline appearance.
  • In some scenes Loki appears wearing alien armour and a horned helmet, which makes him look a bit like a devil.

From 8-13

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above. 

Over 13

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

Sexual references

None of concern 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Characters drink socially at parties.
  • Tony Stark asks Bruce Banner if his secret for staying stress free is a huge bag of weed. 

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Women wear low-cut tops and brief shorts.
  • Black Widow wears a tight-fitting body suit.
  • There is some kissing. 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

This movie has some coarse language and name-calling. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Avengers is an action adventure move that brings together some of Marvel’s most famous superhero characters. It’s targeted at adolescent boys and adult fans of Marvel comics. It contains violence and scary scenes, which makes it unsuitable for children and some younger teenagers.

The main message from this movie is that people who work together as a team can achieve far more than those working by themselves.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include cooperation and selflessness.

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