If you would look at the superhero genre, it’s obvious that there hasn’t been a lot of black superhero movies. Either they have been horrible (“Steel”) or good but forgotten through time (Blade). Now with the silver age of comic book movies, it’s about time we got a proper black superhero movie. With “Black Panther”, not only do we get a great movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe but a grand film for cinema.
“Black Panther” is set immediately after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” as T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) now becomes the new king of Wakanda. He must balance the duties of being the Black Panther and a king as a new enemy threaten his nation.
Chadwick Boseman is very dynamic and powerful as T’Challa. He immediately gives off a vibe of being majestic and powerful without speaking too much. Yet we do get to see a side to him that humanizes as someone who’s unsure of what kind of leader he wants to be. Just as they said in the movie, a great king needs to surround themselves with great people and that’s exactly the case.
Kudos to Marvel for having a large majority of the cast be black. There’s just so many people to highlight. We have Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker bringing amazing star power to an already powerful film. Perhaps the one that steals the show is Letitia Wright as Shuri, T’Challa’s younger sister. She has this youthful energy to her and easily has some of the funniest parts.
Even know this movie is rich with a great ensemble, perhaps the most important character is Wakanda itself. The first act is devoted to sharing its rich culture and why they’re the most technologically advanced nation in the world. Some might say it’s slow but the world building is necessary. We need a reason why Wakanda is so sought after.
Now with a majority of the M.C.U films, there are common flaws in each movie. Fans have often complained about the lack of dynamic villains and a lackluster score. But the director, Ryan Coogler did his best to turn these faults into fantastic achievements.
You have Michael B Jordan as Killmonger who’s worthy as one of the top villains. One method of making a successful antagonist is having their motivations relatable. As the movie unravels, you not only feel sympathetic for Killmonger but sometimes root for him because his beliefs are justified.
Overlaying all of this is an exciting score by Ludwig Goransson. Besides having great action beats, there’s a quieter powerful tone when we’re at Wakanda. Goransson actually went to Africa for research to keep the African authenticity in his piece. We hear African instruments, war drums, and chants that really make this score stand out in the best way.
“Black Panther” is definitely a game changer for all the right reasons. We have a great predominantly black cast led by a black director, something you, unfortunately, don’t see in blockbusters. I’m sure after this movie makes a ton of money, we’ll see some much-needed changes in the future. If they’re of a similar quality as “Black Panther” then cinema is going to have a good future ahead.