Is the new Marvel live action film ok for children? Black Widow Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parent guide to the Marvel Studios prequel release. No spoilers! #BlackWidow May contain commissioned links.
Black Widow Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
May 1, 2020. November 6, 2020. May 7, 2021. And finally July 9, 2021. After three release date delays (thanks, COVID), Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally arrived this summer. But is Marvel’s Black Widow film worth the wait?
Do we finally dive into Natasha Romanov‘s past and find out why her ledger is dripping, gushing with red? In this Black Widow Movie Review | Safe for Kids, we discuss the visuals, the story (no spoilers!), a full parent breakdown guide of the PG-13 age rating for violence, language and adult themes, and what child age is recommended to watch the newest Marvel prequel.
This may be a Marvel first for the this mom movie reviewer.
While I have thoroughly enjoyed previewing movies from the comfort of my computer screen this past year, I can honestly admit this is the first film of 2021 that I wish I had seen in theaters first. Black Widow’s visuals is a Marvel feast for the ultimate fan. The CGI visual effects are next level in this movie, as 90% of movie contains some sort of CGI explosion, car chase, fight scene or super hero stunt. If you get the opportunity to splurge for IMAX/3D, do it.
She’s the second Marvel lady to get her own movie. But can this Avenger hang with the big boys? We know that Natasha Romanov has had a rough go at life. But for this mysterious Avengers heroine, Black Widow’s past may be a little darker red than we had originally anticipated. This prequel is set just after Captain America: Civil War, but before Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War (in case you needed a little timeline recap). But if you thought Captain America: Winter Soldier was intense, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Move over Jason Bourne. Nat Romanov is kicking butt and taking names. In this movie, we follow Black Widow’s journey as she travels alone after Civil War and finds herself wrapped up in her past. Exploring her origin story, we get flashbacks into her childhood, her super powers, and her relationships prior to becoming a “good guy.” Action packed and fast paced, the script gets choppy as we race to keep up between car chases, fight scenes, explosions and Russian subtitles. But if there’s one word I could use to describe this Marvel film, it would have to be intense. In just the first 13 minutes, I was white knuckled, sweating and bug eyed to my screen as the opening credits started to roll.
And after that, the action keeps gushing red. Not the usual “mind blowing” storyline that we would expect from Marvel, Scarlett Johansson struggles to connect with the audience as in previous films. Exploring Black Widow’s trust issues, childhood trauma, character building and broken family dynamic are muddled in the midst of all of the action. Lack of humor, one liners and memorable characters, but we do get to meet a slew of new characters, including Rachel Weisz (has this lady not aged since “The Mummy?”), David Harbour (“Stranger Things“), British actress Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth“), and O.T. Fagbenle (“The Handmaid’s Tale“).
That PG-13 Rating
Is Black Widow safe for kids or too scary? I know that I’m not the only parent who has allowed their young kids to watch all of the Marvel movies and shows. As you know, I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, PG-13 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). As we know, not all movie ratings these days are the same.
After Marvel’s sneaky input of TV-14 rated episodes into the WandaVision show, a realistic and super intense The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series, and now a Loki lost in time, you never know what Marvel Studios may release next. Is Black Widow worth paying the $29.99 for premier access? Is this new Marvel prequel film about to shock our screens again? Or is this more of the Marvel predictable age rating for kids? Is this Marvel Black Widow Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Parents should be concerned.
Why is Black Widow rated PG-13? Is this Black Widow Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Marvel’s Black Widow is rated PG-13 for “intense sequences of violence/action, some language and thematic material.” Is Black Widow safe for kids to watch? Or should parents be worried about this Marvel PG-13 movie rating? Let’s breakdown the age rating for kids.
Language. After watching twice, I counted a total of 16 swear words, ranging in all sorts of colorful bad words including various forms of sh!t (said in English and in Russian with English subtitles), b!tch, @ss, h-e-double-hockey-sticks, d@mmit, and “d**che-bags.” Milder phrases like “pissed off,” “shut up” and “oh my g-d” are also used. There’s also a detailed story that includes potty humor. While certainly less language used as compared to some (I see you, Guardians), I would definitely rate Black Widow more towards the stronger language Marvel films.
Adult Themes. Excessive drinking. Animal cruelty. Child cruelty. And that’s just to start. The adult themes come fast and furious in this Marvel film. And minus to s-e-x, we basically touch on all of the *gasp* scenarios we can. There’s a very descriptive conversation about human body parts that can be horrifying and triggering for some, especially women. There are two brief scenes of mild partial nudity, an exposed back (bra seen), and a person in underwear.
Violence. As the rating states, there are intense sequences of violence/action. I would guess at least 85% of this film would fall under this category. Multiple scenes of graphic blood, gore, and kill shots with guns, knives, medical needles, and other weapons are seen throughout this film. Hard to watch stunts, falls, car crashes, explosions, facial and body wounds/deformities, death (child and adult) are also present. Children are injured, screaming and scared in this film. And children are holding weapons and threatening adults with phrases like “I will kill you all.”
What Age Rating Is Recommended for Kids to Watch Black Widow?
Is Black Widow kid friendly? At a 2 hour and 14 minute runtime, Marvel’s Black Widow movie is action-packed and intense from start to finish. But while rated PG-13, I would daresay that this Marvel film is really teetering as an R-rated film, just based on violence alone. Very comparable to Jason Bourne type movies (and some parts of Winter Solider) for graphic gore, blood and fight sequences and including very hard to watch adult content in some parts (including child and animal cruelty), this movie was rough for ME to get through in certain sections. As a prequel that falls in the middle of the MCU timeline, this solo film honestly doesn’t give anything “extra” or “missing” from the previous films in my opinion, except being the most violent film in Marvel history.
So no, Black Widow is NOT a film I would recommend for kids who have been enjoying the Marvel releases so far, and that includes my 8-year old daughter who has been DYING to see Black Widow. I recommend mature older kids aged 13-14 years old and up to watch Black Widow but caution STRONGLY against any child sensitive to blood/gore, animal/child cruelty. I also highly recommend parents screening this film PRIOR to allowing any child to watch in theaters or streaming on Disney+ (check those parent settings!).
A female Jason Bourne, it’s the classic action movie blunder. More explosions, stunts and punches can’t ever replace a character’s ability to connect with the audience. A choppy and underwhelming story, I found this prequel almost unnecessary – which is saying a lot for this Marvel fan. With so much focus on the intense violence/action, I’m sad to see a huge part of the Marvel fandom (aka our kids) being shut out. As the first Phase Four film and a long, long, long awaited Marvel movie release, I found Black Widow forgettable. Ouch, that’s hard to type out. Hardcore Black Widow and Marvel fans will enjoy the movie, but overall the heart was missing, the humor was missing, and the one liners – gone.
Overall, Marvel is more invested in weaving a web of explosions and stunts than our investment in Black Widow’s character. I love Marvel. The past 10+ years have been a true joy to watch our favorite super heroes come to life on the big screen and become a part of our family. But as with any movie, NOTHING can replace a good story. And Black Widow truly missed the mark on creating another truly captivating plot. If we weren’t so invested in Black Widow already, I would have recommended skipping. But hey, we still get an end credit scene, cameos, and Marvel Easter Eggs. So at least Marvel somewhat stays nostalgic to the old movies we love. But overall, this film is a sticky web of lies. Let’s hope Black Widow’s rocky release does not foreshadow how the rest of Phase Four is going to unravel.
Follow Black Widow on social:
- Website: https://www.marvel.com/movies/black-widow
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackwidow/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/theblackwidow
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/black.widow/
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Watch Marvel’s all-new live-action prequel film Black Widow in theaters and streaming on Disney+ with Premier Access starting Friday July 9, 2021. Will your family be watching this Marvel movie?
I was invited as press to screen this film in exchange for this Marvel Black Widow Movie Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!