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Marvel continues to outdo itself with Black Panther


Friday, Feb 16th was quite a day for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe with the release of the newest movie in the saga, Black Panther. The character of T’Challa (Black Panther) was introduced in Captain America: Civil War, and the fans’ reactions were immediate. It was only fitting that Marvel gave the stunning character his own film, and Chadwick Boseman truly went above and beyond in bringing T’Challa to life.

Allow me to preface this review before I get to into the plot, characters and so on. There will be a couple of minor spoilers so if that is not up your alley, I strongly suggest maybe ending your reading after this: Black Panther is a more than great film and I highly recommend it. If you’re not going to stop reading, just understand I write this review as an active Marvel enthusiast who has a deep seated love for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. There will be references to other Marvel films and future ones, and I feel like I should give you a disclaimer to that.

With that being said, I now direct my attention to Black Panther. The film is two hours and fourteen minutes long, and for the entirety of the film, I was completely engaged. The film picks up right at the end of Civil War and showcases T’Challa coming home after his father’s death in the Captain America film to take the throne of Wakanda—his home country in Africa. Introducing a new setting within a franchise—especially a fictional one such as Wakanda can be tricky—but the movie went through the history of the nation and how the Black Panther came to be the symbol of the nation.

That is one of the positives throughout the film—there is never a lack of explanation. However, the movie doesn’t drown the audience in the back story, either. Marvel continues to improve at developing characters fully within the time frame of a single movie.

Another plus of the film is the way that Marvel successfully merged the technologically advanced world of Wakanda with traditional aspects of African societies—countries’ cultures and people. It would have been quite easy for the film to go wrong in this category. There could have been not enough homage paid to the African roots of Wakanda, there could have been too much to where it comes off as stereotypes or any mixture of those two. Yet, Marvel manages to find a balance where the world depicted is both traditional and beautifully advanced.

The plot itself was magnificent. Michael B. Jordan’s character, Killmonger, was developed fully and gave the audience the perfect villain, playing on the audience’s emotions as he elicits both hatred and sympathy. He also bases his “evil plan” on bettering the lives of oppressed people of African descent around the globe, and that air of nobility to his mission allows people to get pulled into his grand vision of world domination in the name of Wakanda.

Another huge plus in the film is the presence of strong female characters. It’s encouraging to see multiple female heroes – Ramonda, Nakia, Okoye, and Shuri – rather than the traditional single male hero. Throughout the movie it fell on the shoulders of women to save the day, make the tough choices, or just be overall incredibly heroic in the very essence of the word. It was refreshing to say the least.

Marvel also went above and beyond with fitting Black Panther seamlessly into the overarching plot of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Infinity Wars is coming out in May, so when evaluating any Marvel film, it is vital to look to the future and add pieces to the puzzle. By putting the movie right after Civil War and ending the movie with T’Challa bringing Wakanda out of the shadows sets up the scene for Black Panther to play a role in the fight against Thanos, the villain from Infinity War. Also, the after credits scene featured Bucky Barnes (side-kick of Captain America seen in Winter Soldier) hiding away in Wakanda—full circle. Marvel was able to completely tie in the film to the franchise seamlessly and wonderfully.

Overall, the film was spectacular. 10/10 would recommend. Please go out and take your loved ones and friends because everyone deserves to enjoy Marvel’s newest installation. “Wakanda forever.”

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Marvel continues to outdo itself with Black Panther