“Black Panther” displays best of Marvel Cinematic Universe

Photo Credit: Marvel

Photo Credit: Marvel

Rebecca Craanen, staff writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Marvel films have touched on ethical arguments in the past, like privacy versus safety or weapons development, but “Black Panther” goes beyond all of that.

Discussing topics like diversity, tradition and international cooperation, Black Panther breaks more barriers than just the make-up of its cast. What is even better is that Director Ryan Coogler and his co-writer Joe Robert Cole do not shy away from this discussion, but go as far as to make it an integral part of the movie’s dialogue.

The Black Panther is a title passed down with the monarchy of the fictional east African nation of Wakanda. Following the events of “Captain America: Civil War”, the role has been passed on to T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) after the death of his father. What follows is an artfully crafted tapestry of colorful culture, gripping history and tragic epiphanies.

T’Challa, now king, finds himself in the middle of a debate of Wakanda’s place in the modern world. On one side, there are people like T’Challa’s mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and Okoye (Danai Gurira), the leader of the all-women Dora Milaje. On the other side, W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) believe that Wakanda should take action to help the less fortunate in the outside world.

Wakanda’s power comes down to the material known as Vibranium, the metal used in Captain America’s shield. It is the strongest metal on earth and has nearly unlimited uses in medicine and technology. It is used to create weapons stronger than the Iron Man armor, medical technology that can heal a bullet wound in a few days and gadgets that allow people to drive vehicles on the other side of the world from within Wakanda’s development lab.

Most of this technology is designed and brought to life by Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s younger sister. Shuri stole the scene with her wit and intelligence, displaying a mind that seems to be light-years ahead of even Tony Stark. She also brings a humor to the movie that is natural and realistic, rather than copying the same “smart person” humor seen in the other Marvel films. It is a refreshing change after movies like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Thor:Ragnarok”.

The most fascinating character, however, happens to be the villain. Michael B. Jordan breathes life into a fascinating and almost justifiable villain. His goal? To arm those who have been subjugated for centuries with Wakanda’s advanced tech and weapons so they can rise against their oppressors. It’s a somewhat noble cause and certainly one that should be addressed, but not in the way Erik Killmonger is going about it.

Black Panther is a movie that will change the industry. It proves it is possible to have a movie with African characters who are taken seriously, not just set aside as the comic relief. It is possible to have a movie where women are just as, if not more, powerful than men and no one has to question it.

It is possible to have a movie that is true to the traditions of Africa without disrespecting the history of its people. The world should see this movie.

“In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build walls.”

–          King T’Challa


Print Friendly, PDF & Email