The Avengers

Sometimes a blockbuster movie can be so built up in marketing tie-ins, commercials, promotions and just plain hype that when we actually see the movie it hardly comes close to living up to the hype. But so far, in my humble opinion, the Marvel movies have done an incredible job of not only living up to but also surpassing the expectations. The Avengers is no exception.

I may have some bias when it comes to the Avengers, after all how often do we et the chance to be as excited (if not more) about a movie coming than our kids? Well my nine-year-old boy and even year daughter ventured out to the movie to catch the Avengers opening weekend.

(For the Record: I know the movie is PG-13, but so far the Marvel movies have been perfectly family friendly, with only the occasional word or innuendo to make me cringe. For some the Marvel movies may be a bit much, but for us they are just fine).

Coming in at just 143 minute running time I wasn’t sure how my kids would hold out. Scratch that, I wasn’t sure how my seven year old would hold out. My nine-year-old Marvel obsessed son would have no problem sitting through 143 minutes of Avenger time. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the movie hardly felt like 143 minutes at all. It moved at a very quick pace with just enough action, humor and drama to keep us all on the edge of our seats.

If you’ve been following the previous Marvel movies up until this point (Iron Man I & II, The Hulk, Captain America, and Thor) you will understand the group dynamic better than if you haven’t. So I recommend catching up on those movies before seeing the Avengers, though you don’t really have to.

There are two things I loved most about the Avengers and sharing this movie with my kids.

First of all, comic books and comic book movies are not always kind to girls and women. A serious lack of gender diversity in the world of comic books (writers, creators illustrators, AND characters) have often made for unhealthy scantily clad sex kitten type of female characters. Happily the Avengers broke the mold with this movie.

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is the one lone female Avenger. Though this is never brought up one-way or the other. The other Avengers never hit on her or make any snide remarks about her gender. Yes, her jump suit is a bit on the tight side, but it doesn’t come across as out of place (umm, like Wonder Woman saving the planet in her bathing suite and thigh high boots). Best of all Black Widow is constantly in the thick of the action every time never missing a beat. It’s a great thing to be able to take my daughter to see a superhero movie that has at least one respectable female superhero in it that I would totally allow her to be for Halloween.

The other thing I loved about this movie was that the Avengers are GREAT superheroes. As far as Superheroes go, they are the closet thing to relatable as you can get. They are far from perfect beings like Superman or Wonder Woman.

The Avengers bring a special message to our kids. You do not have to be perfect to be a Superhero and that we all bring something special into the world with us. We are all different, yet each and every one of us is as important to the cause as the next.

In this movie we see each of the characters weak and saved by one another and each one strong and rescuing the others. Though my kids may not realize this subtle lesson now, I know the seed is buried in there. Some times in life we rise to the occasion, other times we need a little help from our friends and that’s ok. It’s just the way life is.

Besides they are just plain. I look forward to seeing the next Avengers movie and look forward to seeing more female superheroes brought to the big screen along with more character driven superheroes. The kind only marvel can manage.

Did you see Avengers with your kids yet?