Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ examines the desire to be master

Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ examines the desire to be master

“Avengers: Endgame” has earned more than $2 billion since its release April 24 and is on its way to becoming the highest grossing movie of all time.

The culminating movie in a 22-film Marvel Cinematic Universe series is popular with audiences of all ages and interests, which brings up two interesting questions for Christian families.

     1. Is the movie for Christians?

The God of the Bible is never mentioned — at least not in a good way — but His attributes are at the center of the plot. That’s because the villain Thanos wants to be all-powerful and all-knowing.

Thanos’ evil desire borrows a page from Scripture. Before he was the prince of evil Satan was a heavenly being (Isa. 14:12) who was cast out because of his desire to be God. Later Adam and Eve sinned because of their desire to be like God (Gen. 3:5).

Wicked desires

Of course those wicked desires exist within us too. We want to be the master. We want the power. We want to be God. By definition that’s what sin is. When we sin we might as well be shouting at God: Your commandments are wrong. I’m in charge.   

That’s why we need a Savior.  

     2. Is the movie for children?

“Endgame” is rated PG-13 but some of its marketing is directly aimed at kids. For example, McDonald’s released 24 different “Endgame” Happy Meal toys, meaning you’ll have to spend a lot of cash (and consume a lot of calories) to complete your child’s set. By comparison 2018’s “Incredibles 2” Happy Meal series included only 10.

Corporate partners

Then there are the “Endgame” tie-ins with Coca-Cola, General Mills cereals and nine other corporate partners in a record-breaking corporate deal to ensure your child knows all about the movie and is begging to see it — even though he or she may be 4 years old and can’t even spell “PG-13.” 

I can’t answer this question for your family, but I can give you the information needed to make an informed decision. Even better I’ll list the content in a generic spoiler-free format, thus assuring you won’t learn anything about the plot.

Ready? Here we go. 

The violence and disturbing content in “Endgame” is slightly less than that in its predecessor, “Infinity War,” but is still quite violent compared to a PG-rated animated film. We see a character get an arm and then his head cut off (mostly off-screen). We watch a sword fight that results in a character’s throat getting slashed (we do see blood). We witness a machine gun fight. We watch missiles destroy a building. We see a character tortured (it’s not bloody). Of course we see tons of punching and kicking although it’s largely bloodless.

“Endgame” includes more strong language than “Infinity War.” We hear h-ll (6), s–t (5), a– (5), OMG (3), stand-alone misuse of “God” (3), GD (2),  d–n (2), p-ssed (1), SOB (1), and misuse of “Jesus” (1). An alien spouts a word that sounds like the f-bomb. The film contains no sexuality.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Michael Foust covers the intersection of faith and entertainment as a media reviewer for The Alabama Baptist. He also is the husband of an amazing wife and the father of four young children.