For the first time in history, our two favorite childhood heroes get to face off against each other on screen. It's Batman and Superman like we've never seen them before. The movie is intense, action packed, true to the comics, and, surprisingly, not for kids.
Now why would you not want to bring your kids to see their favorite superheroes fight on screen? It really does seem tempting to take them, but it is probably not the best decision. Unlike Marvel, DC has decided to take a darker, more adult route for their movies. Where Batman used to have 'POW's and 'BANG's, he now has excessive violence and foul language. Where Superman used to have his "truth, justice, and the American way" attitude, he now has a sulking attitude full of hatred.
I'm not going to tell you not to take your kids to see this movie, but I will advise against it. As great as the movie is, it really is not a great movie for your kids to watch — at least not until it comes out on Blu-ray and DVD where you can monitor their viewing.
It's not about sheltering the kids — it's about censoring them from things that may hinder their innocence. The movie was nearly rated R in the US, but director Zack Snyder took out just as much as he needed to in order to keep the movie as gruesome and adult as possible without giving it the R-rating.
Here are 7 reasons why you should not bring your kids to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
1. There is profane language
Sure, it's not as bad as Deadpool, but there are some "bad language words" that most parents do not want their kids to say. It's not like many other kid-themed comic book movies like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Captain America where the greatest extent of the language is "damn" or "hell."
Batman v Superman takes the language up a level, using the same profane language as Avengers: Age of Ultron (which was heavily complained about in the parent community for its profanity). Batman and Superman are characters most kids' idolize. If they see Batman saying, "oh sh*t," there's typically a good chance they will say it too.
2. The violence eventually just becomes too brutal
Mild violence is something that most kids can handle, as it is in most kids' action movies and TV shows that have a conflict. However, the violence in Batman v Superman isn't mild — it's brutal.
In earlier adaptations of Batman and Superman, the violence was minimal. In fact, Superman didn't even fight anyone is his first movie. Batman v Superman changes all that. It's fun to watch, but it may be too much for a young child to watch Superman beat Batman to a pulp with just his fists, Batman snap people's necks, or... [spoiler alert]
... a certain beloved character be completely impaled by a sword.
3. There are some terrifying moments
Like the more recent Batman movies, Batman v Superman is going to be a lot darker than ordinary superhero flicks. A majority of the movie takes place in a dark setting, which sets up a grim mood, and makes everything that would typically be scary during the day into something horrifying, especially in the eyes of a young kid.
One of the most prominent scary parts of the film is Batman's "Knightmare," where he is trapped in a terrifying, post-apocalyptic world, is captured by Superman, and is attacked by hundreds of gruesome-looking winged creatures. In addition, he has other nightmares where different monsters pop out of walls. It even made me leap out of my seat. It's not an easy sight for kids to see, and will likely spawn "knightmares" of their own.
4. If your family is religious, the movie may rupture your child's religious beliefs
As seen briefly in the trailers, the movie does not take on the most "Christian" attitude, or any religious attitude for that reason. Though this reason may not apply to everyone, it is something to note if you are trying to raise your kid in a religious light.
Some of the characters, especially Lex Luthor, give off a very anti-religion theme throughout. They do this by consistently referring to Superman as "God" and referring to Doomsday as "the devil." Luthor goes on and on about how humanity needs to overcome and kill God, even if it means siding with the devil. No matter what religion you follow, this is not really a good theme you want to put in your child's head at an early age.
5. There is a very sexual scene
Like most PG-13 films, Batman v Superman can't go without a good sexual moment. Much like the comics, the movie actually brings sex into the picture. This does fit the theme of the film, but, like everything else on this list, it's not the best idea to show young kids.
The scene in particular I am referring to is at the beginning of the film, where Lois Lane is completely naked in a bath tub, and Clark Kent (Superman) crawls on top of her. Though it did not show anything too personal of Lois, they showed everything they could to keep it PG-13. The content is still very sexual and can be very hard to explain to a child without getting into the "birds and the bees" talk.
6. Batman has some dark habits
Branding is not common today because of how brutal and gruesome it is. Sure, burning a mark on a person's skin may be easy to explain to a child if it is a villain who does it, but trying to justify the main villain for branding is very difficult.
During a certain point, you actually see Batman torture a person (who will go unnamed) with the brand. It is actually very unnerving to watch, even for me. After seeing the marks he left on others, and how hot the flames are, it is not a pretty sight to see Batman use torture against someone else — and will likely be even worse for your kids to watch.
7. The reason for them fighting may go over their heads, leaving the idea that they are fighting just for the violence
In the movie, Batman and Superman are fighting due to a moral fight of justice. Unfortunately, the movie does not do the best job of explaining this. Though their reasoning is subtly apparent at times, their fighting just appears to be a fight for the purpose of violence.
Because of how much the movie avoids the common theme of justice and morality, it may be hard for a young kid to actually understand why their two favorite heroes are fighting. Instead, they may just think they are fighting just to fight, even when violence is not morally the proper route. Plastering that violence is okay as long as you're mad into the head of a child is not usually the best idea, and it can have some serious psychological effects on their future.
Depending on the age of your kid(s), it may not be the best idea to bring them to see Batman v Superman. If they are around 13 or higher, go right ahead if you want, but anything earlier than that and you are pushing it. It is rated PG-13 for a reason — because it is difficult for a child under 13 to comprehend the movie without parental guidance. And it's both rude and intolerable for you to talk to and guide your kid throughout the entire movie.
By all means, go see this movie, but it is advised, by both me, the filmmakers, and the MPAA that you do NOT bring your kids to see this movie if they are under 13. This may be that superhero flick you go see as long as you hire a sitter. If you don't take them to censor them, at least have the dignity to not take them so the rest of the audience doesn't have to hear, "Mom/Dad, why are they fighting?" every five minutes.