It’s no secret I’m a fan of Marvel movies, but Black Panther was even better than I was expecting because within the framework of a superhero action story were conversations and scenes that touched on real world issues.
Black Panther, based on the 1960s comic book character, takes place primarily within the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), aka Black Panther, has become king and protector of the kingdom following the death of his father in Captain America: Civil War.
The movie follows T’Challa as he is crowned king and the subsequent internal and external forces plotting to overthrow him, including the mysterious and deadly Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).
Black Panther is a movie that addresses current race relations, identity, colonialism, and the challenges of international politics clearly, no holds barred, but with grace, humor, and a positive message. Director Ryan Coogler deftly balances the cerebral with the action throughout the movie.
I also loved that in Wakanda, there is no gender bias. Women and men work side by side, each expected and encouraged to live up to their full potential.
There’s a lot of “girl power” in Black Panther. From T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), a teenager who creates all of all the amazing technology Wakada possesses, to his girlfriend Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), an undercover spy trained in martial arts, to the Dora Milaje, the all-female special forces of Wakanda led by Okoye (Danai Gurira), the women of the kingdom are no damsels in distress. They are just as capable as anyone else of protecting themselves and defending Wakanda.
It’s a great message for all the little girls who will see the movie.
I also have to note the film’s soundtrack. Featuring a score composed by Ludwig Goransson, and songs curated by Kendrick Lamar, the soundtrack greatly adds to the mood of the scenes and immersion into the world of Wakanda.
Not only is Black Panther the black superhero movie we’ve all needed, but it’s also extremely inspiring to everyone else. And it’s all wrapped up in a fun and exciting action-packed superhero movie set among the beautiful backdrop of the continent of Africa.
Go see Black Panther in the theater – the special effects are amazing! And if you bring your kids, sit down and talk with them about some of the messages afterwards.
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Rating: 9 out of 10 stars
Director: Ryan Coogler,
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Sterling K. Brown, Daniel Kaluuya, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis
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