When I was a little kid, I got sick a lot. Both of my parents worked during the day, which meant I would be home alone during moments of sickness. My mother would run to the drugstore before work and pick me up a stack of comic books to get me to lunch, when she could check on me. Usually, she would bring me another stack of comic books for the second half of the day.
One day, within the stack, was a copy of Black Panther. He was not a superhero I knew of, but half-way through my reading, he became a favorite. His world (Wakanda) differed from anything I had read before, and unlike many other heroes, he had no baggage. He was a good man that inherited his father’s throne and wanted to do right by his country and his family through exceptional ways. His morals were good and his actions were guided by doing what was right. The Black Panther comic book was different from other comic books.
But you want me to tell you if Black Panther is appropriate for kids and not my life story.
If your kids have seen other Marvel films and were okay, they’ll probably be fine with Black Panther. The fighting in Black Panther is mostly hand-to-hand combat, and the action is close up. Knives and spears are thrust into people and there is one instance of a throat being cut. Guns are used in many scenes. There’s no sex or even any innuendos. There are only a few instances of swearing.
In a nutshell:
Violence: A lot. People are shot, stabbed, cut, blown-up, and run over, and the hand-to-hand fighting is intense.
Swearing: Shit, ass, and damn are used.
I took my 11-year-old, and she was fine. I would take a kid who is 10 or older to see it in the theater, but given the intensity and violence, I would watch it at home (if at all) with younger kids. Again though, if you and your kids are okay with the other Marvel and DC movies, then you and they will probably be okay with Black Panther.
Lastly, my quick non-spoiler review.
Much like the comic books, Black Panther is a different type of superhero movie. It’s different not just because this is the first African superhero to headline a Marvel movie and not just because of the warrior women, but because you don’t feel you’re being sold something. Many superhero movies put product placement in your face and you can already tell what your kids will beg for when they walk down the toy aisle. While watching Black Panther, I forgot about the commercial aspect of Marvel. I was entertained by the story, great acting, fantastic visuals, and intense action. It compares most closely to Captain America: Winter Soldier in that regard.
Also, the women are fierce warriors in Black Panther. Kids walking away from Black Panther will have more heroes than T’Challa. They’ll have General Okoye, Nakia, and my new favorite hero, Shuri. My 11-year-old daughter wants Shuri to get her own suit.
See Black Panther. Support Black Panther. You’ll be glad you did.