“Black Widow” (Disney)
By Catholic News Service
With the Avengers ensemble of superheroes temporarily in disarray, one of its members (Scarlett Johansson), from whose moniker the film takes its title, battles a Russian villain (Ray Winstone) bent on world domination. She finds potential allies in the ostensible sister (Florence Pugh) and parents (David Harbour and Rachel Weisz) with whom she posed as a family in childhood while the grown-ups worked as sleeper agents in the United States.
Large-scale special effects and intrepid derring-do are wedded to themes of clan solidarity, compassion toward adversaries and contrition for past misdeeds in director Cate Shortland’s Marvel Comics-derived action adventure. But the former overshadow the latter, weakening the impact of the morally respectable points screenwriter Eric Pearson seeks to make.
Frequent stylized but sometimes harsh violence, a few mild oaths, about a half-dozen uses each of crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.