10 years. 18 movies. 9 origin stories.
Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe has gotta be one of the strongest movie franchises to date! Through the years, we saw remarkable titles (Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy) and some so-so (looking at you Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World). An introduction of a new titular character is welcomed with a solo movie and there has been some great ones. With no hesitation, I have got to say that Black Panther is the most solid of them all. It may even be Marvel Studios’ finest solo movie yet! Curious? Here are the reasons:
True, Black Panther is not the first superhero movie starring black actors. Blade got there first but let’s be real here, it came out long ago and it was not that memorable. The release of Black Panther comes at a perfect time. Racism is still an issue and the matter of representation or the lack of it, is still being wildly discussed. The film showcased only the greatest of black talent! Finally, there are heroes that people of color can look up to!
Black Panther is set in Wakanda, a hidden nation in Africa. Despite its concealment from civilization, its people and its culture are widely influenced by the African culture. It is prominent in their language, tribal designs, practices, and costumes. While majority of the film is African-inspired, it also took cues from different cultures. Snow-dwelling African tribe, anyone?
In the age of woke consciousness, media has got to keep up! And Black Panther did just that. It not only provided the much-needed representation for people of color to wash away the bad taste of whitewashing, it also put powerful women in the front! Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danai Gurira delivered fierceness after fierceness. They are regal, powerful, and smart!
The hero only debuted in 2016 in Captain America: Civil War but he has made a strong impact right away! His solo movie is very much warranted and highly anticipated. Ryan Coogler handled the character and the film with such passion and it shows! With a dash of the local landscape and some technological advancement, Wakanda is such a fleshed out country that it is a character on its own. The plot is basically a fight for the throne but the key players around it played the game really well. Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger is a highly-nuanced villain, he might just dethrone Loki or Zemo as MCU’s best villain!
I will go out on a limb here and say that Black Panther is Marvel Studios’ FRESHEST, MOST INSPIRED, and MOST RELEVANT film to date!
Director: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Andy Serkis
Binge-level: 5 out of 5 stars