“Black Panther” hits theaters, one for the books

Basma AlZadjali

We already knew this movie was going to be good. It was definitely worth the wait, worth the hype and worth the anticipation.

“Black Panther” is centered around Prince T’Challa (the Black Panther, portrayed by Chadwick Boseman) who ascends the throne of Wakanda (a fictional, Afrofuturistic country in the Marvel Universe) after the death of his father. Wakanda has a major supply of Vibranium, a precious metal used to advance Wakandan technology, which is kept hidden from the outside world.

The movie combines the perfect mix of drama, humor and action. With the help of an amazingly talented, almost all African-American cast, “Black Panther” not only breaks Hollywood’s chain of consistency with casting mainly white lead actors, but it does so in a way that shows just how prized movies can be when focused on different cultures and ethnicities. Not to mention, having focused on several strong female lead actors (Lupita Nyong’o, Danal Gurira and Letitia Wright) made the film even better than expected.

“Black Panther” destroyed the narrative of typical female leads and made its female characters more dynamic and extremely badass. Disney made a breakthrough with creating Mulan, but the creators of “Black Panther” are furthering female empowerment in film with the interdependence of its female leads.

Watching powerful black women portrayed in such a way gives this blockbuster a deeper meaning than simply defying Hollywood norms.

The villain, Erik Killmonger (portrayed by Michael B. Jordan), could possibly be one of Marvel’s most sympathetic antagonists. You might even agree with him. Despite his tendencies to kill for vengeance, his heart is somewhat in the right place.

Warning: you might shed a tear for him, just a tiny bit.

You don’t have to be a comic-book or superhero fan to enjoy this movie. It is arguably one of Marvel’s best movies ever made. “Black Panther” will undoubtedly pave the way for more representation in the future of cinematic universes.

Wakanda Forever.

biav22@mail.umkc.edu

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