Our Thoughts On Marvel’s Black Panther!

Marvel’s Black Panther is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is directed by the amazing Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed), who also co-wrote the screenplay.
The Black Panther’s first appearance in the MCU was in 2016’s Captain America Civil War where his father T’Chaka King of Wakanda was killed in a terrorist bombing. This is briefly covered in the film and trailers for the film, but I can’t imagine most people watching Black Panther have not seen at least Civil War. Should you have skipped it, fear not; Black Panther may the 18th film in the MCU Series, but it is the first in its own series of films.

While the events of Civil War are mentioned and do act as back story for Black Panther, I would argue it is not necessary to see any of the prior films of Marvel to enjoy this story. Only three of the main characters have been seen in previous Marvel films. Returning as T’Challa is Chadwick Boseman (Captain America Civil War, 42), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit Trilogy of films) resumes his role as Agent Everett Ross from Captain America Civil War, and the incomparable Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes, Avengers Age of Ultron) returns as weapons dealer Ulysses Klaue.

One week after his father’s death, T’Challa is returning home to Wakanda. While comic book readers have seen the technological wonder that is the golden city of Wakanda, this is the first time it is brought to life on the big screen. And not only do we see the beauty and technology that makes up the nation, we see its history and politics. The beginning of the film tells the story of the five tribes and how they worked together to harness the space metal that crashed in their land: vibranium. After a ceremony in which any tribal representative may challenge in combat for right of the throne, T’Challa takes his place as new King of Wakanda. From this point is where the story begins as the Wakandan Council learns of recent robberies of museums where Wakandan artifacts made of vibranium were stolen.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

Things become more interesting when it is revealed that leading the thieves is weapons dealer Ulysses Klaue who came to Wakanda years before to steal a large portion of the nation’s vibranium and left many dead bodies in his wake. Being an enemy number one of the nation the council has deemed it necessary to bring him to justice. T’Challa takes on the task of this mission and takes with him his two greatest warriors Okoye (Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead) and Nakia (Academy Award winner Lupita Nyonga from 12 Years a Slave). While on their mission they uncover an even more insidious plot that puts their entire nation and the whole world at risk.

While being another entry in the Marvel Universe series, Black Panther stands on its own in many ways that only the best Marvel films do; by being about more than just super-heroics. The fact that this is Marvel’s first film headlining a black character is not lost on them. The subjects of oppression, nationalism, and race are themes that are woven perfectly into the fabric of this film. And while those themes are very political, Coogler never makes the film preachy or pretentious.

Instead, his characters come off as driven for different reasons with the heavy themes being used as weapons to rally others to their cause. And while the film is titled Black Panther, the film is very much an ensemble piece, allowing for all of the main characters to have arcs, motivations and moments to shine. This is even one of those rare cases in which the antagonist of the film has their own arc and motivations which really help to flesh out the character the likes of which I haven’t seen since Loki in the first Thor film.

Also, I just have to mention that while the film is Black Panther, my favorite character is Okoye played by Danai Gurira (best known as Michonne the sword wielding zombie slayer from The Walking Dead). General Okoye is the leader of Black Panther’s secret service called the Dora Milaje. The Dora Milaje are an army of women that embark on missions with and for the Black Panther. Sometimes they are his body guards, sometimes more, but they always kick the most butt in any given situation. Yes Lupita Nyonga is awesome too, but there are a couple of scenes that take place in Korea where Okoye does some of the most bad ass stuff I have ever seen, including a scene involving a car hood and spear.

Yes, Black Panther is in theaters during Black History month for a reason, but I can honestly say that should not make a difference in seeing this film. Black Panther is a good film, made by a brilliant director, starring an insanely talented cast and tells an engaging story that only has room to grow both in its own series and in the overall Marcel Cinematic Universe.

BLACK PANTHER is in theatres everywhere now!  Get your tickets now!

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Jesse Delia


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