Black Panther

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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.

Watch out for: Nonscriptual religious ideas and practices, much stylized violence with minimal gore, several crude and at least one crass term, an obscene gesture.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG-13

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018