Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

image for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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Not suitable under 12; parental guidance to 14 (violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • a review of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 November 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 12–14 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 14 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes and violence
Length: 161 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The King of Wakanda, T’Challa, has died and Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) ascends to power. Wakanda is the only known source of the highly prized mineral ‘vibranium’, which is used in weapons of mass destruction. As such, Wakanda is the most powerful nation on Earth. Members of the UN try to persuade the Queen to share the precious mineral but she refuses. This makes Wakanda an enemy of other powerful nations such as the US. However, a new threat comes from an underwater colony, Talokan, and its leader, Namor (Tamech Huerta). The Talokanil are mutant descendants of the Yucatan Peninsula Mexicans, who live and breathe underwater and who also have access to vibranium. Namor is the only Talokanil who can breathe above water, and he also has winged feet and other super powers. Namor intends to rule the world with his powers and wants Wakanda to join him. Queen Ramonda has no intention of joining in a war against the ‘surface people’.

Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), the king’s sister, is highly intelligent and uses her advanced knowledge of technology to help develop weapons in the defence of Wakanda. Together with the head of the Army, Okoya (Danai Gurira), they travel to the US to find a scientist who has created a machine that detects vibranium. The scientist, however, turns out to be a 19-year-old university student, Riri (Dominque Thorne), who is wanted by Namor. As the threats to Wakanda grow, the need for a new ‘Black Panther’ becomes pressing. It is now up to Shuri to take on the role occupied by her beloved older brother and to defend her nation of Wakanda.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

War; Fantasy violence; Superheroes.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a lot of stylised violence in this movie, including fighting with swords and weapons, automatic rifles, characters being thrown, plane and vehicle crashes, but no blood and gore. Some examples include:

  • Soldiers armed with automatic weapons break into a Wakandan outreach centre and threaten the occupants. The Wakandans fight back with spears, knives and tasers.
  • Car chases which result in cars crashing. Cars and a motor bike are thrown up into the air and crash loudly.
  • A major character is wounded in battle and is shown lying down, bleeding. She later dies.
  • Wakanda is invaded by the Talokanil – water breaks through the city walls and fighting breaks out between them. Namor sends a warrior flying into the water and splits a plane in two. Namor uses vibranium in the attack.
  • A US warship is attacked by the Talokanil and capsizes.
  • Namor spears Shuri as the Black Panther. Shuri pushes her body through the spear to escape from it.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Many scary and fierce characters, such as Queen Ramonda, Okoya and Namor.
  • Underwater scenes are murky, dark places.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The knives used in fighting give out electric shocks.
  • Two underwater divers descend into the deep to recover the vibranium detector. One of them disappears and the other one panics and screams.
  • The Talokanil people are fierce warriors. They are blue skinned and look scary, with feathers, masks and iron body armour. Namor has winged feet and can fly.
  • Characters in a car crash are shown hanging upside down. One appears dead.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • The death of King T’Challa is being mourned at the start of the movie. There is a funeral procession and a woman is seen crying over the coffin.
  • A flash back to 1571 shows people starving and dying. A woman is seen burying her husband in the earth. The people drink a special potion which makes them sick and collapse. They awake with orange eyes and blue skin and need to rush into the ocean. They find that that they need water to process the oxygen in their blood. One of the women gives birth underwater.
  • Namor has a memory of coming to the surface as a boy and seeing his people enslaved, tied up with ropes and beaten. When he is spotted, he flies up into the air. He is called a child of Satan and a child without love.
  • Shuri is captured by the Talokanil and taken down to their underworld. She enters a vortex and looks terrified. Namor threatens to kill her and Queen Ramonda.
  • Ramonda and Riri are seen floating down into the water. They rise up again but appear dead.
  • Shuri drinks a potion to give her the powers of the Black Panther. It is a risk to her as it could kill her. She has visions of her brother after taking the potion.
  • US Marines are seen hypnotised and walking off a ship to their deaths.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Marvel characters.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Potions are used on two occasions.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Shit
  • Bullshit
  • Oh God.

In a nutshell

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a sequel to Marvel’s original Black Panther movie. In 3D, it is visually stunning with diverse landscapes and characters. At 161 minutes, the film is dragged out and overly long and the plot is rather clichéd and trite, however, it is likely to appeal to teens and Marvel fans. Due to the violence and scary scenes, this film is not suitable for children under 12 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 12-14.

The main messages from this movie are that vengeance should not consume you; and that those with power should use it wisely.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Strong female characters
  • Mercy and compassion
  • Loyalty
  • Teamwork
  • Courage and bravery.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • The glamorisation of violence – why is this a popular theme in teenage movies in particular?
  • Grief and loss occur on a few occasions in this movie and shows how it can deeply effect the remaining loved ones. This could give parents an opportunity to discuss this topic with their children and what their own attitudes towards death and dying are.