Take a look at the trailer and then let’s discuss, shall we?
Now. If you don’t think that looks like a great superhero movie, you weren’t paying attention. Or maybe you just don’t like superhero movies. Or movies at all. Because man oh man does this thing look great. Characters from the comic include Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man (duh), Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine (replacing Terence Howard), and Mickey Rourke as Whiplash. (Aside: Rourke should only play supervillians from now on. In fact, he should play The Joker in an upcoming Batman sequel. One based on the great comic book — sorry, graphic novel — The Killing Joke by Alan Moore. I’ll keep saying this so that if/when it happens, I can take full credit for saying it first.)
Now to the issue at hand — will Iron Man 2 be OK for kids? The first Iron Man movie was great and lots of kids saw it, including my son, who I think has now seen it five times. It’s a fairly violent film, with lots of guns and bombs and implied death. There are no severed limbs that I can recall, and it had a PG-13 rating, like every other movie these days. There was no overt sexual content, no nudity, and like I said, no severed limbs. Still, it was no ‘Benji.’
The sequence in the first Iron Man that bothered me as a parent was the opening scene where Tony Stark’s military convoy gets blown up in Afghanistan. Stark is taken prisoner and builds his first suit of weaponized armor, the Iron Man Mark I. (Aside: in the original comic book, this happened in Vietnam and the bad guys were communists. Hey, it was the 60’s.) My son was not, as far as I know, traumatized by seeing it (five times). It was, however, fairly intense and psychologically violent.
Obviously I haven’t seen the movie yet. (Which makes me sad. Yes, it hasn’t opened. But I really really really want to see it. Wahhh!!!) And my son will also want to see it, and I will take him. But what about my youngest, who is now 4 years old? Will he be too young to come with us? He will probably want to go, and I’ll feel bad about leaving him at home. On the other hand, I don’t know if I want him to watch something really violence. Is that too wimpy of me? I’m not sure. What I can say for certain is that I will make the ultimate sacrifice and go see the film as soon as it opens, just to check it out and make sure there’s nothing in it that I wouldn’t want my children to see. Am I a great dad, or what?
So what do you think? What’s the right age for a movie like Iron Man 2? Did you take your kids to see Iron Man? Will you take them to Iron Man 2 when it opens in May of 2010 (which can’t come soon enough for me)?