“Black Panther” (Disney)
By Catholic News Service
Sprawling, energetic but ultimately overlong Marvel Comics adaptation from director and co-writer Ryan Coogler.
The young sovereign (Chadwick Boseman) of an imaginary — and secret — African kingdom where the use of a super-powerful mineral has enabled the population to achieve both prosperity and a range of technological wonders unknown to the outside world must cope with two principal threats to his realm. The first involves a South African arms dealer (Andy Serkis) who has managed to infiltrate the nation and make off with a stock of the mineral which he aims to sell to the highest bidder. The second concerns the ongoing consequences of a long-ago family conflict (involving Michael B. Jordan). The king is aided by his tech-savvy sister (Letitia Wright), the woman (Lupita Nyong’o) he would like to make his queen, the leader (Danai Gurira) of his army’s band of fierce female warriors and, eventually, by a CIA agent (Martin Freeman).
Real-world political preoccupations are incorporated into this sci-fi tinged action adventure while plot developments weigh vengeance against justice and violent revolution against peaceful reform. Possibly acceptable for older teens.
Nonstructural religious ideas and practices, much stylized violence with minimal gore, several crude and at least one crass term, an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.