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Is the 'Captain America: Civil War' movie kid-friendly?
The New Characters
Sharon Carter, played by Emily VanCamp, is Agent Peggy Carter's niece and a CIA agent. She assists Captain America and was known as Agent 13 in "Winter Soldier."
T'Challa/Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman, is royalty from Wakanda with powers passed down for generations. A thirst for vengeance places him on Iron Man's team.
Scott Lang/Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd, was introduced in his own movie as a thief recruited to take on the hero role by the previous Ant-Man, Hank Pym. He is recruited to help Captain America's team.
Peter Parker/Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, recently started web-slinging, and is recruited by Tony Stark.
Zemo, played by Daniel Bruhl, is the bad guy who collects information in an effort to destroy the Avengers.
Crossbones, played by Frank Grillo, is the new personality of Captain America's adversary Agent Brock Rumlow in "Winter Soldier."
"Captain America: Civil War" is the latest movie in the overall story line for Marvel's Cinematic Universe. It has a story ripped sort of from the comics, and presents not just the first Avenger, but many other Avengers, as well as some new heroes for the MCU. It is just as much an Avengers film, as it is a Captain America one.
There's no doubt any superhero fan would be excited about this film, but the PG-13 rating may leave some parents wary of letting their child see it. During our mid-day show, the theater was maybe half children obviously under the age of 13, some even dressed as their favorite Avenger.
The biggest take-away from this movie is that it shows the consequences of the heroes' actions, which while hard to watch at times, can be a good lesson for children.
While the Avengers saved the day, not all lives were saved. There are people in those buildings that Hulk smashed into in previous movies. Cities were not evacuated before buildings fell during battles. Destruction is great. There's more to the battles than just what the heroes were focused on defeating.
And, then, as the heroes fight each other, one is seriously injured. (As this character was my son's favorite at one point, he was very concerned for him.)
There are few significant deaths, but those deaths may not be what fans expect. The most significant death to the Captain America story happens off camera, while the others are parents of characters who are murdered. One death scene occurs in a explosion. The other death scene is brutal attack on both the mother and father.
Another theme is vengeance. The movie shows how powerful the feeling is, and that vengeance can even turn friends against each other.
However, the main battle between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man is about government oversight of the team and Captain America's trust of his long-time friend, Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier. And, that battle does not disappoint.
The different fighting styles of each of the heroes is shown very well, and is highlighted by newcomer Black Panther's cat-like style. He character is so incredible, it will be a hard two-year wait for his stand-alone movie.
Also in a few fight scenes, the motorcycle stunts are amazing. Parents may want to warn their children not to attempt those stunts on their bikes.
Kids who know the characters will love seeing Ant-Man's new power, and my 9-year-old also loved the Star Wars reference that went along with it. Spidey reminded us a lot of the cartoon version of the character, and other characters even commented on how much he talks during the battle.
The only complaint from the kids was a similar complaint from us parents- Aunt May looks too young. Yes, Marisa Tomei is certainly old enough to be a teenager's aunt in reality, but her character looked more like an older sister than the Aunt May we all love. The scene in which we meet Peter and May also feels a little forced into the film's story- if the rights to Spidey were not a concern earlier, it probably would have fit better as an after credits scene for a previous movie.
Overall, children who are fans of the Marvel characters will love how the characters' powers are showcased. As can be deduced with the title "Civil War," the fight scenes were a bigger part of the movie than those scenes are in most other superhero movies. Plus, as far as we know, the importance of this movie in the overall story is not great- there was one brief hint to the Infinity War- and waiting to watch is possible. However, kids can learn lessons about the trickier aspects of friendship.
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© 2016 Samantha Sinclair