If you're wondering whether to take your young child to see “Black Panther,” which opens in movie theaters on Feb. 16, here’s what you need to know before buying your tickets.
What it's about: Marvel’s “Black Panther” follows the events of “Captain America: Civil War” in which the king of Wakanda, a fictional African nation, is killed and we’re introduced to his son, T’Challa a.k.a The Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). In the new film, T’Challa returns to his homeland to be its new ruler. The new king gets tested when he learns about events from the past and a powerful new foe that may threaten the safety of his people and the entire world.
What kids will like: Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, Black Panther builds on the comic-book lore. Stunning visuals and an action-packed plot will have fan boys and girls wanting more. Music fans will love the original music by Kendrick Lamar.
What parents will like: Faced with hard truths about the past, T’Challa takes the high road and shows that a great leader can wield compassion and strength. T’Challa and his technically savvy sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) have a fun dynamic. It’s also nice to see women such as Okoye (Danai Gurira) portrayed as powerful warriors. The film is packed with heavy-duty star power including Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Forest Whitaker as Zuri and Oscar-nominated Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi.
Lesson learned: One can learn from past mistakes and take action to correct those errors.
Action/Violence: There are on-screen deaths, violent battles and one-on-one combat. I shielded my son from some of the brutal scenes.
Language: There’s a rude gesture you may have to explain. Subtitles are used frequently throughout the film.
Drugs/alcohol: T'Challa drinks a potion to become Black Panther.
Sexy stuff: The costumes of the different tribes are somewhat revealing, but no more than a day at the beach.
Recommended for: The film is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence. Teenagers and tweens may be mature enough for the violent scenes, but parents should be cautious. This film may be too much to handle for younger children. You should also consider the run time. At more than two hours long, youngsters may not last to the end of the credits. Note: You’ll want to stay until the very end of the credits.
☆☆☆☆ (out of five)
Director: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o
Rated: PG-13 (for prolonged sequences of action violence and a rude gesture)
Running time: 135 min.