It’s easy to gauge the success of a movie: You look at the box office gross.
But gauging its cultural impact and its popularity among children can be more difficult. Then again, maybe not.
Consider the newest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Endgame (PG-13). And then visit your nearest McDonald’s and order a Happy Meal.
McDonald’s not only emblazoned the toy and box with images from the film — which is common for tie-ins — but it also placed the Endgames logo on the yogurt tube, the milk and the apple bag (which is not common).
More significantly, though, the company released 24 different Endgame character toys, meaning you’ll have to spend a lot of cash (and compile a lot of calories) to complete your child’s set. By comparison, 2018’s Incredibles 2 Happy Meal series included only 10.
There there are the Endgame tie-ins with Coca-Cola, General Mills cereals, and nine other corporate partners in a record-breaking corporate deal that will ensure your child knows all about the movie and is begging to see it — even though she may be 4 years old and can’t even spell “PG-13.”
The movie — it’s easy to see — is a cultural phenomenon.
Yet is Endgame OK for children?
I can’t answer that for your family. I can, though, give you the information needed to make an informed decision. Even better, I’ll list the content in a generic spoiler-free format, thus assuring you won’t learn anything about the plot.
Ready? Here we go.
The violence and disturbing content in Endgame is slightly less than that in its predecessor, Infinity War, but is still quite violent compared to a PG-rated animated film. We see a character get an arm and then his head cut off (mostly off-screen). We watch a sword fight that results in a character’s throat getting slashed (we do see blood). We see a machine gun fight. We watch missiles destroy a building. We see a character tortured (it’s not bloody). Of course, we see tons of punching and kicking, although it’s largely bloodless.
Endgame includes more strong language than Infinity War. We hear h-ll (6), s–t (5), a– (5), OMG (3), stand-alone misuse of “God” (3), GD (2), d–n (2), p-ssed (1), SOB (1), and misuse of “Jesus” (1). An alien spouts a word that sounds like the f-bomb.
The film contains no sexuality.
The worldview of Endgame is far from Christian, yet — like Infinity War — it can spark a Bible-centric discussion. For example, how is Thanos’ desire for God-like characteristics similar to the stories of Satan and even Adam and Eve — all of whom wanted to be God or be like God? More specifically, though, how is Thanos just like you and me when we rebel each day and refuse to follow his will? Perhaps we are sometimes Thanos.
Endgame is three hours long. Go easy on the soda.