Over the weekend I had the privilege of seeing Black Panther. I’m not going to spoil it, I swear. Honestly, it’s better for you to experience it yourself. And these are my own opinions.
First, let me sing my praises and let my out and proud geek-ness run wild as I squeal with joy.
You could just tell that all the actors gave their all in portraying their characters. Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa was regal and stoic as he should have been. This was played nicely against the bold and brass Killmonger played by Michael B Jordan. Shuri, T’Challa’s kid sister was youthful and intelligent and was one of the movie’s standout characters. Everyone was great and more importantly, looked liked they were having fun.
This movie finally gave us a look at Wakanda and it was more than I could have dreamed of. The country of Wakanda was stunning. There are villages, yes, making it known that we are in Africa but this is not the Africa you expected. The city, the buildings, the palace are all polished with clean lines and shapes with vibranium running through the very heart of Wakanda.
Along with the setting, the wardrobe is essential for world building. The clothing is colorful and wonderfully patterned. There also times where the clothing choices are minimalistic but made bold by a hair-do or jewelry. We briefly see the other tribes that make up the rest of Wakanda and their leaders. We get to see the different color scheme for each of them which I thought was dope; having them all be different but come together and be a part of the greater Wakanda. And all of the clothing was inspired by actual African styles.
Black Panther takes place after Civil War and T’Challa has to become King since the passing of his father. So his arc in the movie is to balance being a new monarch as well as being a hero. You’d think those two go hand-in-hand but they don’t and he has to figure out how to manage it all.
The B plot that collides with the first storyline is Killmonger’s origin. As a villain, he was enjoyable. Killmonger was one of those villains that you don’t outright hate because they are evil but you understand where he’s coming from. I personally feel like the best quality a villain can have is when they are relatable. Killmonger wasn’t some cartoon villain who wanted to blow up the planet, his cause was close to home. With Killmonger’s point, which I’m not going to spoil, it was written in a way that it wasn’t preachy. It was handled expertly, I thought especially in the climate we are living.
I do have some complaints though. A lot of the fight scenes were cool but they were shot in a way that felt like they were going at 100 miles an hour. A fight scene should not be slow but they should be fast enough and clear enough that you can actually see what’s going on.
At the end of the day, I really enjoyed Black Panther and might actually go to see it again in the theater, which I never do. Before anyone says that I just like the movie because I’m black; well what’s wrong with that? Seeing a black superhero and king has never been done at this level before. So if I see black excellence being represented on the screen, will it make me feel proud of being black? Yes, and I do not see a problem with that. And for all the people getting upset and complaining about how we are going “overboard”, do not even go there. What’s the difference between when Stars Wars fans dress up and when we do? Absolutely nothing. We are proud of our fandom just like you are.