Was 'Iron Man 3' made with kids in mind?

Robert Downey Jr. confronts young Ty Simpkins in "Iron Man 3."

For Hicksflicks.com, May 31, 2013

The summer movie season is upon us in full force now, with superheroes, superheroes and more superheroes. Oh, and superheroes. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But as much as I enjoy many of these movies, they aren't really made for me. After 50 you are officially out of the demographic. After 60, Hollywood looks you in the eye and says, "I thought you were dead." If you've read my columns with any regularity you know this is not a new subject but as I get even older it's one that continues to perplex. (Earlier musings are here, here and here.)

Anyway, you might well ask, who are these movies made for? A wide-ranging family audience? In theory, yes. These movies are expensive and the wider the audience, the better the chance of box-office success. And young children, as well as teens, tweens and 20somethings and beyond, are obviously all part of that targeted audience.

So why then do these films so often have material that is clearly inappropriate for young minds? If you've seen any of the "Transformers" movies, you know what I mean.

Yeah, I know, it's the 21st century and anything goes and kids are exposed to far worse in the schoolyard and yadda yadda yadda. But a quick moment in "Iron Man 3" particularly bothered me.

Tony Stark is being helped by a young boy and at one point tells the lad not to wimp out, only what he actually says is much more crass. Our hero uses a particular word, a pejorative slang term for weakness that is also a crude reference to a certain female body part — and he aims it directly at the young boy who is giving him assistance.

Using the word in this film and in this context is bad enough, but my 14-year-old granddaughter was sitting next to me, which made me doubly uncomfortable.

Did no one in the room when this script was being hammered out think this was a questionable line of dialogue? Or worse, was it an adlib? In which case, another take with another word was certainly called for.