Last week I watched an X-Men movie, Logan the last movie featuring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Patrick Steward as Professor Xavier. I'm not a fan of the X-Men but I had heard good things about the movie and I bought it cheap. The production and the acting are excellent, the story is good, alright and terrible depending on which part of the movie your watching. But it is very violent and gory with frequent foul language and much of this involves children. Couple this with it's message that Mexican children have to cross the border or die, although it's the Canadian border and they are being hunted by a Corporation not the government. This is not a fit movie for children to watch however as it is a superhero movie I know children will watch it, which greatly disturbs me.
50 years ago a movie like this would not have been made, although even then people were complaining about the lowering of standards. It was argued that adults should not be treated as children and that they should be able to watch things that were adult. Violence, sex, cruelty and swearing. To be honest most people accept that argument, but why is it that we do so little to help parents protect their children from these things?
Since New Years I have watched 16 movies and rewatched the first season of Game of Thrones. So it is not that I find violence, sex, cruelty and swearing unacceptable. But no one pretends that Game of Thrones is suitable childrens viewing, that's not true for Logan and other superhero movies. Sure in Australia it is rated Mature Age 15+ but how many people pay attention to that?
I have been watching a lot of British WWII movies recently, like In Which We Serve. An excellent war movie about WWII made during WWII. Full of violence, it even has a little swearing and of course it includes the cruelty of war, people, good people die. It even includes humour. But at it's heart it is a serious movie, something Logan pretends to be but isn't. Maybe this is what bothers me the most, that it pretends to be something it is not.
When I was growing up violence or nudity in a movie would have the argument made that they were required for artistic merit. You never hear that argument anymore because now our standards are so low that having a child rip out a mans throat or shoot half his head off, both in graphic detail, goes without even a mention. This blurring of the line between children's viewing and adult viewing is not new and it is getting worse. Simply because something can be done does not mean that it should be done. If adults are to continue to enjoy violence, sex, cruelty and swearing then children have to be protected from it and it must also be remembered that teenagers are not simply immature adults. They need to be treated not as children and not as adults, but as teenagers. It makes things more complicated, life's like that.
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