Why BLACK PANTHER is the movie we need right now
Last Thursday, I had the luxury of an impromptu date night with my husband because my parents were in town and could watch the kid. I knew it was SOLD OUT almost everywhere, but I managed to find and purchase two tickets for “Black Panther” at Arclight Sherman Oaks. It was not a close drive for us – and definitely not a fast drive up the 405. But I was determined to watch “Black Panther”, not only because I heard it was really good, but because I know how important it is for a movie of this magnitude and everything it stands for, to do well opening weekend.
I’m so glad I saw it, because I was BLOWN AWAY. P.S. There may be spoilers in this review.
Official one-liner from Marvel Studios:
Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to become king, but when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.
The African nation of Wakanda is a technological dream. In the movie, it is a self-contained secret from the outside world. There are several tribes which make up Wakanda, each unique in their own way. The nation harmoniously blends traditional elements with technical advancements, creating a perfect balance…until it’s disrupted.
I loved how the nation of Wakanda was gender-netural, for the most part. Both males and females held positions of power, most notably a female general, Okoye (played by Danai Gurira). Even though the title is “Black Panther”, several characters held their own and shined in the movie. My favorite character was Shuri, the sister of T’Challa/Black Panther (played by Letita Wright). She was like “M” from the James Bond 007 franchise, but with much more advanced resources. She also provided some comic relief through smart and sassy comments.
The Action and SFX
There were several very cool action scenes: from one-on-one fighting on top of a visually spectacular waterfall, to an insane car chase scene, to the last “Game of Thrones” type fight scene – complete with very cool SFX animals. The variation of locales made it that much more exciting to watch.
The message of this movie is timely, in the sense that powerful countries and leaders today battle similar issues regarding use of resources and sharing knowledge for the greater good of humankind. “Black Panther” shows that not everything is cut and dry, and that there are several considerations to make regarding these huge decisions. It was done very well, in entertaining and thoughtful way. I hope more movies will be as thought-provoking as this and open more people up to discussions.
“Black Panther” couldn’t have been cast more perfectly. Chadwick Boseman starred in several biopic movies (42, Get On Up, Marshall ) before starring as the first black superhero lead in a Marvel movie. He’s definitely made himself a household name through Black Panther, and will hopefully have a lot of screen-time in the upcoming Avenger movies.
I first saw Michael B. Jordan while marathoning the t.v. show Friday Night Lights on Netflix, where he played a high school student athlete. Who knew almost five years later I’d see him grown-up in awesome action sequences on the big screen in a box office-breaking movie?! He plays the character Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, but I won’t tell you any more than that. You’ll have to watch the movie to know more.
Lupita Nyoung’O plays Nakia, the kind-hearted, fighter-for-the-less-fortunate. She is also T’Challa’s love interest and a spy for the Wakandan nation. She is one of the most recognizable faces in the movie, famous for her supporting actress Oscar win for her role in 12 Years a Slave, and extensive modeling career.
Other famous faces in Black Panther include: Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Sterling K. Brown (This is Us), Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker.
Why this is important
Black Panther features a largely all-black cast in a movie with a blockbuster budget and an extended marketing campaign – something never seen before in Hollywood. The box office numbers prove there is, and has always been an audience. As a person of color, I appreciate seeing diversity across all medias. Hopefully this is a sign Hollywood films and television will represent more people of color and produce more quality films with meaningful messages.
BLACK PANTHER is now playing in theatres everywhere!
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Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post. I purchased tickets and attended a regular showing of this movie. All opinions are my own. Images and media used with permission and provided by Marvel Studios.