Australian Council on Children and the Media

Avengers: Infinity War

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Not recommended under 13; parental guidance strongly recommended 13-15, due to violence and disturbing scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Avengers: Infinity War
  • a review of Avengers: Infinity War completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 May 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to intense violent and disturbing scenes
Children aged 13 to 15 Parental guidance strongly recommended due to violence and disturbing scenes
Viewers 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Avengers: Infinity War
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes and violence
Length 149 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film opens with mass murderer Thanos (Josh Brolin), and his army of monstrous aliens, witches and wizards, attacking a planet and killing off half the population. Thanos believes that by killing off half the population of the universe, one planet at a time, he will prevent starvation, poverty and the total depletion the universe’s resources.

Thanos is on a quest to obtain the Infinity Stones, gems with cosmic powers such as the ability to control time. If Thanos obtains all the Stones he will have the power to wipe out half of the universe’s population with a single thought. Standing in his way are a collection of the greatest superheroes including: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr., Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Roffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Spider Man (Tom Holland) Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), and the Guardians of the Galaxy including Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Draz (Dave Bautista) Groot (voice of Vin Diesel), Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper), and Star Lord (Chris Pratt)

The Avengers and Guardians fight Thanos and his armies across several worlds including Earth in a bid to stop Thanos from acquiring the full set of Infinity Stones.           

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Genocide and mass murder; starvation and poverty; depletion of resources; personal sacrifice; a father killing his daughter; super heroes and super powers

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains extended, intense sequences of violence and peril throughout. The violence includes filicide, torture, the depiction of death and dead bodies on a mass scale, the mass destruction of property and the depiction of some blood and gruesome images. Examples include:

  • Several spaceships attack a ship firing lasers and we see images of the wrecked remains of the ship with the floor littered with burning debris and dead bodies. A soldier stabs a dying man through the back with his spear and we hear the sound. A giant alien carrying a man by the chest dumps him on the floor. The alien threatens to kill the man, saying that he will hand the man’s head to his brother if not given what he wants. The alien then holds his fist against the man’s head and burning light comes from a gem worn by the alien to burn a hole into the man’s head; we hear him screaming.
  • The film contains a number of scenes depicting stylised fighting including the use of hand weapons such as swords, spears, axes and clubs. One scene in particular depicts an extended fight between several woman wielding hand weapons.
  • One extended scene depicts the brutal torture of a lead character. The man is suspended from the ceiling so his body is horizontal with the floor. Laser beams pierce various parts of the man’s body and his facial expression suggests he is in agony. In another torture scene, a female cyborg screams as she is stretched on a rack.
  • In the aftermath of an alien invasion of a planet, thousands of civilians are herded by soldiers into a group. A young girl is separated from the group and faced away from the herded civilians. The soldiers then shoot all the civilians.
  • A man attempts to stab an alien in the throat with a sword but fails.  The alien grabs the man by the throat, lifts him into the air and snaps his neck.to kill him.
  • In one scene an alien drags his daughter to the edge of a cliff and hurls her off; we see her falling and see her crumpled dead body at the bottom of the cliff. There is blood on her face and on the ground around her head.     
  • A woman escapes from a torture chamber by freeing her hands and then breaking the neck of her jailer; we hear the sounds of bones breaking. 
  • The film’s final intense extended battle occurs between technologically advanced humans and an army of rabid dog-like alien creatures that bite and claw those they attack, swarming over the bodies. Cluster bombs are dropped on to the attacking creatures, incinerating thousands of them.  Superheroes smash, club and stab the creatures and we see a superhero rip the arm from an alien’s torso. Alien creatures charge towards a force-field dome and their bodies vaporise or burn, leaving bloody wrecked flesh. During the battle gigantic wheels like circular saws plough up the ground, drag people under and tear them up. There is a close-up of one woman being dragged under a wheel and shredded, and blue blood splatters over one superhero as an alien is shredded.  

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The film contains images of numerous alien creatures whose appearance may disturb younger children. Some have a humanoid appearance but are giant sized, have unusual coloured skin or features, and behave in a violent and unpredictable manner. Some aliens have bird-like faces while others have monstrous bodies and scary faces with protruding tusks. There are also swarms of savage dog-like creatures.
  • A monstrous alien reaches through a worm hole that severs the alien’s arm as it closes. There is a quick gruesome image of the severed arm as it drops onto the ground. 
  • An alien uses cosmic powers to turn several attackers into stone blocks that then fall apart - we see part of a face with a blinking eye.
  • A man wears an eye patch over his eye. He removes the eye patch to reveal a blackened hole. He pulls the socket open and pushes in a bionic eye.
  • A superhero stands in front of a beam of light that has the power of a sun and we see the flesh on the superheroes face begin to blister and smoke until the beam is turned off; the superhero self-heals and is uninjured.. 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group will also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

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

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

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

Product placement

Nothing of concern in the film but plenty of associated toys which are likely to attract young children

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A man talks about having a dream where he has to urinate and struggling to remove his pants, and then wakes up actually having to urinate.
  • A man asks if an explosive he is placing on his belt was the “Blow off your junk kind."
  • In jest, a raccoon tells a man that he should have washed a bionic eye before he inserted it into his eye socket because he had to hide it someplace unclean.
  • A man tells a woman to stop massaging another man’s muscles.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • A man and woman kiss on the lips
  • Women wear tight-fitting and revealing clothing

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • screw you; bullshit; arsehole; holy shit; swear to god; crap; bastards; sucks; incomplete “fu....”    
  • space dogs; douche bag; freak; dipshit
  • one offensive hand gesture.

In a nutshell

Avengers: Infinity War is the darkest, most intense, violent and confronting Marvel film to date. The film is extremely fast paced and contains almost all of the Marvel films characters.  An understanding of previous Marvel films is needed to fully understand this very long (149 minute) story.  The film is therefore aimed at adolescent and adult Marvel fans and is definitely not suitable for children. Parental guidance is recommended for younger teens because of the many violent and disturbing scenes.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • Threats to a population can be a powerful means of unifying people
  • Those in control power can do what they want, and dictate what is morally and socially acceptable regardless of the consequences to others. 

 Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Cooperation/working together for the greater good.
  • Gender equality. Female warriors and superheroes are shown to have as much intelligence, strength, fighting ability and courage as their male counterparts.

 

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