THE MULTIPLEX — Buckle up: Marvel Studios has officially kicked off its 2018 movie release season with "Black Panther," and by all accounts, this movie is going to be a big one for the studio.
Although Marvel is breaking new ground with this film and there are plenty of reasons to see it, as a parent you may have a question or two about the content of the movie.
"Black Panther" is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence and a brief rude gesture. Here's a list of things to consider before you head to the theater:
Let's face it, this isn't Marvel's first rodeo. You know, I know and Marvel knows that this is a violent movie.
The violence in this film is standard for a PG-13-rated Marvel superhero movie. There is nothing gratuitous, gory or even particularly bloody in this film. What you do get is a lot of punching, kicking, exploding and a few weaponized rhinoceroses doing their best to cause chaos.
Although most of the violence is there for entertainment purposes and designed to keep you from falling asleep between plot development sequences, there are some moments worth pointing out.
Without giving the plot away there are a few scenes where there is some intense hand-to-hand fight sequences that are more than just generic battle scenes. There is a lot thematically at stake in these fights, and so the intensity is ramped up.
If you are comfortable with letting your kids see other Marvel movies, "Black Panther" isn't going raise any eyebrows.
Marvel Studios, which is part of Disney, sticks to a pretty tight game plan in its films when it comes to content and language. You know what to expect when you walk into the theater.
There isn't a ton of offensive language in this film, but there are enough swear words to notice. The level of questionable language in "Black Panther," as with most Marvel movies, is about what you would expect to hear in a middle school gym class.
There is at least one instance when "Black Panther" strays from questionable language into a realm I have yet to see in a PG-13-rated Marvel movie when we see a secondary character flip the bird at her older brother. The scene gets a quick laugh and moves on without much else to note.
For the PG-13 rating "Black Panther" received, Marvel spent its ratings budget on violence and swear words.
There is nothing of a sexual nature in this film. There are a few scenes where the main male characters run around and fight without their shirts on, but beyond that, there isn't much to see.
Romantic relationships in this film are tame by even Disney standards. The entire romantic arc of this film between two main characters leads up to a single kiss at the end of the movie.
This movie could be considered intense because there are life and death situations that sometimes echo real-world scenarios. But most of what we see is very stylized and is there to move the plot along.
If you have kids who are sensitive to intense situations, they may be at the edge of their seats a couple times throughout the film.
If you've been to a Marvel movie before or if you know someone who has, you will not be surprised by anything in "Black Panther."
The movie lives up to all of the hype and shortcomings of almost every Marvel movie you have seen before. If you make "Black Panther" part of your weekend movie experience, have fun and go knowing there won't be any content-related surprises you wouldn't normally expect from a film like this.