The Rayflector

Black Panther Review

Dae'Ron Jones, Staff Writer

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The newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther, broke records before even hitting theaters, having the most pre-sold tickets of any superhero movie in history, and fourth of any movie, ever. The movie features a predominantly African American cast and director, telling the story of the new king of Wakanda, T’Challa, and gives a more indepth look into the fantasy African country and the extent of just how powerful and useful is vibranium, the source of Wakanda’s wealth and what makes up the Black Panther suit. After losing his father, T’Challa now has to balance ruling his country as king and protecting it as the Black Panther. He is faced with numerous challenges, internally and externally.


Chadwick Boseman delivered once again a great T’Challa, as a quiet king who has one mission, to protect his home. He’s ready to take action as the Black Panther, but often prefers to take a more systematic approach.The casting of Michael B. Jordan as T’Challa’s ultimate foe, Erik Killmonger, was a brilliant move as he not only played a frustrated former soldier amazingly, but he’d done two films with Coogler already, so the chemistry was there. Other new characters are T’Challa’s family. The love interest, played by Lupita Nyong’o, his mother, played by Angela Bassett, his sister, played by Letitia Wright, his mentor, played by Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, and John Kani return to their respective?perspective roles. All of the character’s were expertly played, making it difficult to pick an outright favorite.


Black Panther re-established the famous, “with great power, comes great responsibility,”, that has been a subtle theme in a lot of the MCU movies, more specifically the first stand alone movies of characters.  Not just with T’Challa being the Black Panther, protector of Wakanda, but also as a king with a lot of resources. Killmonger feels that is Wakanda’s biggest fault, to have all this power and resources and not use themit. Although Killmonger wants to use the powerit to eventually rule the world, T’Challa and his family want to use it to help the world. But the constant fear that Wakanda will subdue to the rest of the world’s way of life stops him, hence Killmonger’s frustration.


Marvel has excelled at giving great movies that hit huge numbers in the box office, bringing dozens of characters to life and intertwining them to create a story. What Marvel hasn’t done is make something that was truly meaningful. The director, Ryan Coogler, was able to do that with such class without deviating from the big picture that Marvel has been painting for a decade. It’s intense, funny, and packed with the action audiences have come to love, from simple mano e mano battles to car explosions in the streets of South Korea. It’s more than just a setup for the next movie, it gives an actual in depth look at a character and his world.  At what?


A great aspect of the movie was due to set designers and Coogler in creating the accurate representation of African culture. Every Wakandan character resembled a different culture, some more apparent than others. The tribal patterns on different clothing and even on the Black Panther suit itself, and the attention to detail is a huge reason why Coogler was the perfect man for the job.


So what’s next for the Marvel and King T’Challa? First of all, the entrance of Killmonger into the MCU gave us another top notch villain that has been lacking, with the exception of Loki and arguably Red Skull. Both have one goal–a seat on the throne. Killmonger was very identifiable as the source of his anger is felt with others around the world. Showing that he is only a product of his environment, and that everyone isn’t as great as they let on. King T’Chaka, T’Challa, Wakanda as a whole, no one was without fault. He had a valid point, just the wrong approach. So now the bar has once again been set for MCU villains. Also, how will Black Panther and Wakanda fit into Infinity War? How big of an impact will they have in fighting the titan Thanos?

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Black Panther Review