'Man of Steel' Delivers Epic Action -- Should Your Kids See It? (VIDEO)

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man of steelThursday night I got the exciting chance to see the new Superman movie, Man of Steel with my son. The movie stars Henry Cavill as Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent, with Amy Adams as the boldest Lois Lane we've ever seen. And the movie itself was more... well, everything. Darker, more action-packed, more deeply emotional. It's a movie clearly made to appeal to adults. So what about kids? This is the comic-book hero Superman we're talking about here. Your kids may be begging you to take them to see it already. But should you? Here's my take on what parents should know before taking their kids to see Man of Steel.

First of all, there's no sex whatsoever, so no worries there. Superman and Lois Lane have a passionate kiss while fully clothed at the very end, and that's it. The next closest thing, though, is the birth scene at the very beginning of the movie. You don't see anything explicit, but Kal's mother's labor moans and screams are pretty intense. I was a bit uncomfortable watching that right next to my son.

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Otherwise, the movie is violent in a mostly bloodless way. There's a lot of smashing and crashing and epic fights. Innocent people are put in danger. You have to assume people are dying when, for example, Superman smashes his arch nemesis General Zod into a 7-Eleven, causing it to explode in flames. "That's not exactly saving the world," my son quipped. 

The violent action kicks in from the very beginning. Soon after the birth we see a seated person take a sudden fatal chest blow from some sort of blaster -- and from there it's all fighting and chasing. As Jor-El, played by Russel Crowe, zooms around on a flying dragon through clashing metal and explosions I wanted to turn to my son and ask, ARE YOU NOT OVERWHELMED? (More like enthralled.)

So outsized is the violence, in fact, that to me it entered the realm of the absurd and was rendered almost meaningless. What happens if we keep ratcheting up the volume and the scale? Whole city blocks are decimated. Skyscrapers snap in half and then collapse (a little too 9/11 for my taste). At one point, a powerful punch sends someone crashing into a satellite outside the Earth's atmosphere. You can't help wondering what it all does to a child's mind to take it all in.

A singularity is created just a few hundred feet above the Earth's surface for the sole purpose of defeating the bad guys -- like a black hole isn't going to suck up the entire Earth and everything surrounding it. So if you care about your child's understanding of the laws of physics, please talk to them about the dangers of singularities after the movie. (Haha)

At least all the action kept my son from noticing the way I was drooling over Henry Cavill.

If you're concerned about the violence but you've got a kid who's dying to see the movie anyway, a compromise might be to see a non-3D version in a smaller theater. Also, you won't leave feeling like you need to take a Valium and a nap.

All that said, there were a few small moments of tenderness. And I think kids will find the themes of compassion for humanity and digging deep to realize the full extent of your powers inspiring. Man of Steel is dark in aesthetics and maybe some of the plot, but it is still very much the story of becoming a hero.

And speaking of heroes, I should mention that we were guests of the organization, Save the Children. They, along with IRC, Mercy Corps, and DC Entertainment are working together on the We Can Be Heroes campaign. Check out the website, where you can donate or shop to help end famine in the Sudan. Because in the real world, we don't face a threat from Kryptonites -- here the danger is that children are starving to death unnecessarily. It's not quite as thrilling as flying around in a cape, but by participating your kids can be heroes, too.

Do your kids want to see Man of Steel?


Image via WarnerBrosPictures/YouTube

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ModelSènsation Photographÿ

Hell yes... If you have a son and he isn't girlie... he will have to see this with his dad before anybody else!

magis... magisnotonfire

My teenage daughter has freaking out about this movie since we saw it today. She went on a rant about how the Wayne Enterprises Logo was on the satellite, and that means it's a shared universe and all that. I'm pretty sure this is going to be another obsession, like The Avengers last summer. She's already talking about The Justice League movie coming out in 2015! So yeah, take your kids, they'll probably love it. (Maybe a little too much.)

thatg... thatgirl70

We went last night to the drive-in to see it (along with the new Star Trek movie). Honestly, my son (6) lost interest in it a few minutes in (I think he got bored because we had to wait so long for it to start) and climbed in the back to play with my phone. That's not to say it wasn't a great movie though, we plan to buy the blu-ray when it comes out. He may it watch it then. I don't have a problem with it when he does.

cassi... cassie_kellison

My 6yr old Son and I just got back from seeng this, it was great. He has seen worse, so I guess he's not a weenie that gets scared at the slightest mention of violence. It took a while for "Superman" to come on the scene so he was bored for a while.

Scott Schwartz

How about putting "spolier alert" at the start of this article?

Sara Haxton

The movie was wonderful. Took my 8yr old and my 6yr olds.  They loved it.  The previews not so much.  I had to cover eyes twice.

Bunny Lee DuChemin Wilson

This article would have been a bit more helpul had you mentioned how old your son is. But regardless, my husband is taking my son (who is 7) to see this movie this week. They are both super excited about it!

perso... personal.legend

I'm not sure my 4 year old will see it. Then again, he has watched the avengers OVER AND OVER AND OVER and he handles it really well. And he also repeatedly tells me how mean Loki is. I'll have to watch man of steel first with my husband...we'll decide from there. But my son is stuck on superheroes, has been for a long time now so i know if he saw the trailer he'd want to see the movie. 

cmjaz cmjaz

I used this article as my decision to take my 7 year old to the 3d version. He loved it! I could barely keep him in his seat. He was so excited during the explosions and all the other stuff that 7 year old boys love. I counted only two curse words throughout the movie

nonmember avatar Ram A Lamb Dong

This movie should not be seen by any children under 14. There are buildings falling down like on 9/11. Louis Lane is slapped into a wall. It is very violent.

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