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Review: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ – What parents should know

It’s pretty much a given that many kids will be begging to see “Captain America: Civil War” this weekend because it features an ensemble of some of the most popular superheroes around. After all, the movie might be titled for Captain America (played by Chris Evans), but it would have been more aptly named “The Avengers 3” since Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Ant-Man and Vision are heavily featured in the plot.

And, best of all, two newcomers join the team this time around — Spider-Man and Black Panther, both of who steal the show in my opinion.

But how kid-friendly is this latest comic book superhero movie?

“Captain America: Civil War” opens with a destructive Avengers team-up in Lagos, Nigeria, that causes the United Nations to create an accord that puts the heroic crime fighters under the oversight of the U.N. Led by his guilt over the collateral damage done by the Avengers in the last two Avengers movies, Tony Stark — aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) — is in agreement with the sanctions, but Steve — aka Captain America — fears government control will prevent the superheroes from saving lives when it’s most needed. This draws a line in the sand between the two, and the other Avengers have to choose a side.

Similar to “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” “Civil War” covers a lot of ground in two and a half hours. The plot is fast-paced and engaging, especially when Black Panther is introduced. Excellently played by Anderson’s very own Chadwick Boseman, the avenging African prince stirs things up and breathes fresh life into the team of superheroes. So does the youngest version of Spider-Man to ever grace theater screens. A very young Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland) is quite possibly the best thing about “Civil War.” Kids who love Spider-Man will love his portrayal here (and if you go, be sure to stay after the end credits for a fun Spider-Man teaser for his next film, which will be yet another reboot of the franchise).

So what should parents know to make an informed decision about whether or not “Captain America: Civil War” is right for their family?

First of all, the movie is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem. As with the other Avengers movies, there is a lot of comic-book style violence and action. People are shot, throw bombs, fight by hand, and are killed in acts of terror. Although there is lots of violence, there is little-to-no gore.

There is a fair amount of profanity throughout the movie, including numerous religious exclamations, mild obscenities and name-calling. There are no sex scenes to worry about, but a man and woman do kiss briefly.

As I mentioned, the run-time is approximately two and a half hours. I can see some younger kids getting bored by the complex plot and long run-time.

Overall, “Captain America: Civil War” is a fun superhero movie that tackles some serious themes, including revenge, fear mongering, and taking responsibility for your actions. Personally, I’d adhere to the rating, but if you allowed your kids to see any of the previous Avengers films, this one is easily comparable.

“Captain America: Civil War” is now playing in theaters nationwide.