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IronmanIf you haven’t seen Iron Man 3, you are among the few! Much of the world has already seen it.  The film premiered in Paris in early April, then worldwide to record setting opening audiences in late April, and finally on May 3 in the U.S.

Not only are Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tony Cheadle back to head the good-guy team, but well-known and greatly admired actors like Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce appear on the dark side to create a dynamic contrast.  I like Rebecca Hall, but her character did not bring much to the film.

The plot itself has an occasional twist, but not enough to keep it from being as predictable as comic books usually are.  One new character, eight-year-old Harley (Ty Simpkins) becomes Tony Stark’s younger counterpart and even rescues Stark during one of the more interesting fight sequences, but, unfortunately for the film, this young sidekick is virtually abandoned for the rest of the film.

Iron Man 3 is rated PG-13, and rightly so! The audience comes expecting the comic-book action, but some of the violence borders on being up-close torture.  Trying to roast people alive is pretty disturbing; even the self-repairing bodies appear to be burning. Limbs are severed and people are blown up—all in tolerable ways for teens perhaps, but pretty rough for younger children.

In addition, though subtle, there are some sexual references you probably wish your kids didn’t have to hear.

But since lots of kids are going to see Iron Man 3, let’s talk about a few ideas that you can bring up in the car on the way home.

  • Many ideas start out as good ideas, but then are turned into bad things! Self-repairing bodies would be a good thing, wouldn’t it!   If this were real science, we’d be glad!  Can you think of other areas of science today that might be good, but could be turned toward evil if misused?  (Some answers:  cloning, genetic engineering, nuclear power, new drugs—really almost anything.  In fact, in God’s creation, everything was created good!  So what went wrong?)
  • “We create our own demons” – Tony Stark (Iron Man).  (You might want to point out that he is talking about evil, not literal demons.) What went wrong with God’s good creation is that people made bad choices and took His good things and used them for bad purposes.  Show them James 1:14,15 – “But people are tempted when their own evil desire leads them away and traps them. 15 This desire leads to sin, and then the sin grows and brings death.”
  • Tony Stark actually started this chain of events:  he lied to the young Alldrich Killian about meeting him on the roof, when he had no intentions of doing it.  Being kind and honest all the time can prevent lots of bad things from happening.
  • Being the good guy (even the Superhero) does not mean you are going to win every battle.  The good guys had to learn how to be defeated, then to come back and try again.  Learning to bounce back from defeat or failure is a very important lesson for our children to learn. You don’t always deserve a trophy.

Well, you probably don’t live that far away from the theater, so maybe that’s enough to get you home.

Remember two things if you talk with the kids about movies:  first, you are just planting seeds, so don’t dig too deep and don’t over water.  Secondly, you don’t have to get to agreement. They absorb a lot more than they want us to believe!

And it is just a comic-book movie after all!

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