The film I have been most highly anticipating for 2018 has arrived, and I couldn’t be more overwhelmed with this post. There is so much to talk about but let me start by saying I adored this film and I cannot recommend it higher. Never before has a film been so jam-packed with culture, action, soul, and profound themes. This is the movie that our world needs.
Director = Ryan Coogler
Chadwick Boseman = T’Challa / Black Panther
Michael B. Jordan = Erik Killmonger
Lupita Nyong’o = Nakia
Danai Gurira = Okoye
- EVERYTHING IT REPRESENTS & EVERYTHING IT STANDS FOR!!
It’s not a surprise that people of color have been underrepresented in cinema. Finally, this film marks the beginning of a new trajectory. Not only does this film appropriately represent people of color, but I believe this movie stands alone from just being a “superhero” movie. It is much more than that.
As the story began in Oakland, California and then moved to Wakanda, I felt completely grounded in the setting as if Wakanda is a real place with real people. Wakanda is so technologically advanced and enriched in culture and traditions that I couldn’t help but have F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out).
The characters are so brilliantly written that I didn’t doubt they were real people. I didn’t feel like this was a corny “superhero” film, because T’Challa, Erik Killmonger, Nakia, Okoye, and the rest of the cast were so understandable. The female characters were perfectly written, because they were all so strong, wise, and admirable and not once were they belittled or mansplained by anyone. T’Challa thrives in this film because he is surrounded by such influential and wonderful women.
So many of my friends dressed up for the premier and I’m happy this film can be so widely accepted and celebrated. Racism has been around since the beginning of time, but this experience has given me a glimmer of hope that all people can unite under commonalities and a bond of peace, love, and understanding.
2. Erik Killmonger vs. T’Challa
Besides The Joker, I believe Erik Killmonger is the best written and developed villain any superhero has faced in film. His character is the most sympathetic at times and I connected with his pain, turmoil, and struggle. I even wanted to join his side during a portion of the film. The ability to sympathize with an antagonist is an effect of fantastic character writing.
The ritual scene where Killmonger visited his father broke me to my core. Seeing him and his father isolated in an apartment while other Wakandans roam free in the afterlife was deeply moving. What I found interesting is that Killmonger is the true representation of the Black Panther. Not the hero Black Panther, but the actual Black Panther movement. His goal is to empower the oppressed people of color around the globe with Wakandan technology to conquer. His mission was liberation with domination.
T’Challa is the other side of the coin. Throughout the film he has been wrestling with Wakanda’s presence in society. Wakanda has been an innocent bystander hiding its secrets from the world, but should T’Challa change that? Should he share Wakandas technology and information to the less advanced people of Earth that could benefit from their help? T’Challa doesn’t believe the world is ready and their help will just escalate the worlds war/poverty/death.
The conflicts our protagonist and antagonist face are profound conflicts and mirror modern day international relations. Should you build bridges or a “wall?” The film tackles this issue head on and in a very admirable way.
- Hand-to-Hand Fighting Choreography
The only improvement that could have come is the hand to hand fighting. There were too many quick cuts and sub par editing. The only aspects of the film that will stop it from standing the test of time is occasional poor CGI and sub par hand to hand fight choreography.
Black Panther is ambitious, innovative, and rich. I am happy for the success this film is getting and I pray this brings Hollywood in a new direction. I rate this a 9.1/10 and I recommend you go and see Black Panther at your earliest convenience. It deserves your full attention.