Review: Black Panther


Theatrical Movie Logo, Marvel Studios.

The long-awaited Marvel action movie Black Panther hit theaters this President’s Day weekend and the outcome was tremendous. The historical premiere broke box office records and now holds the title as the fifth biggest opening of all time. The film exceeded expectations as it grossed over $192 million in the first three days of its release.

This movie will go down in history, not only because it is the first time that the Black Panther character’s story has been portrayed on the big screen, but it is also the first time that an African American is the main character of a Marvel action film. Along with that, another first for Marvel is that more than the majority of the cast is of African descent.

King T’Challa, the Black Panther, is performed by Chadwick Boseman and is the protector of the hidden African country Wakanda and its people. The fictional country is untouched by the outside world and depicts an image of what Africa could be if it had not been touched by colonizers centuries ago.

This vision is nothing like the portrayal of Africa in the media today. Wakanda is a country that sticks to traditional African ways while relying on its technology and natural resources to power its land and provide for its people. The creators of this film took inspiration from actual African tribes to make this film come to life.

The film did an amazing job of directly and indirectly depicting the parallels of what it is like to be Black in America. Erik Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, had a very rough upbringing after the death of his father. His mind is filled with hate and his heart is hungry for revenge. Because of this hunger, he is seen as the enemy and only becomes humanized when he gets close to death.

This character can be similarly connected to a Black boy in America. First, the boy is not given the resources needed to fulfill a great life, which usually causes him to turn to crime and violence as an outlet. This gives the country an excuse to view him as a thug and a gangster. Only for society to finally open their eyes and humanize the boy once his lifestyle inevitably ends up killing him.  

Another amazing factor of this movie is that there is no damsel in distress. The women in this movie are viewed as equals. The women warriors, also known as the Dora Milaje, are the King’s loyal protectors and will fight to the death to protect him. Letitia Wright, who plays T’Challa’s teenage half-sister, can be seen as one of the smartest people in the world. She is more tech savvy than most grown men and uses her knowledge to heal and create.

This movie has inspired hope for a bigger and better platform for Black people in the entertainment industry. Not only is the cast Black, but those behind the scenes, including the director, Ryan Coogler, is Black. This movie is revolutionary and has unlimited potential to influence a new generation of Black individuals in film.