(ThyBlackMan.com) From the moment the words Oakland, CA crawled across the bottom of the screen at the beginning of Marvel’s long awaited Black Panther movie, I knew this was going to be a different type of super hero movie. While many of the folks who have been freaking out over Black Panther getting his own film since Captain America: Civil War are comic book fans and self-proclaimed nerds, I’m neither. I’m just an old theater head who loves all things black, and am easily moved by a good story.
Black Panther definitely has a good story. It reminded me a lot of the tragedies that I read in college with their mighty but flawed characters. Although Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther is one of the more poised and put together super heroes, he’s certainly not perfect. Michael B. Jordan’s character Eric Killmonger wastes no
Even if you’re not a Marvel comic book fan, or missed the Captain America movies, you’ll still appreciate Black Panther. The story is one that stands on its own with a clear beginning, middle, and end. While there are some characters with history (like Black Panther nemesis Ulysses Klaw), there’s still enough information on their past relationship that you won’t feel lost.
Many of the themes in the movie were incredibly relevant to society today. It doesn’t hit you over the head with social commentary, though. The film is still an entertaining tale about a super hero. There might be some political statements being made along the way, but it never feels heavy.
The women in the movie are so incredibly interesting and three-dimensional. In a weaker storyline, they’d absolutely steal the show. Fortunately, T’challa’s dramatic journey has enough depth to keep us focused on him. Chadwick Boseman plays T’challa with an air of royalty that doesn’t require a lot of hooping and hollering. Of all of the characters, I believed Boseman’s King T’challa the most. He played Black Panther with a quiet strength that was intoxicating to watch.
Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger was completely delicious. Although he was the villain, I can admit that there was a point where I was rooting for him to win. Not an evil character, Killmonger’s reason for being who he is and doing what he does completely makes sense. It’s scary that I can relate to the bad guy, but that’s just another testament to the richness of the story.
From Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, to Angela Bassett as Ramonda and Letitia Wright as Shuri, the women of Wakanda are not to be messed with. Okoye is the General who leads the Dora Milaje, T’challa’s security team. She and Nakia, who is T’challa’s old flame, aren’t really friends as much as they are two women who have an incredible amount of respect for each other. All of the women are represented as having their own purpose and individual drive.
The standout of the film, and probably my favorite character, is Shuri. The smartest person in the world, Shuri is T’challa’s little sister, and the creator of his vibranium suit. Letitia Wright plays her as a modern millennial who really enjoys making miracles through technology. She was a breathe of fresh air in every scene that she was in. Letitia held her own among the older, more experienced actors, and I imagine little girls will be running around pretending to be her after they see the film.
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