‘Black Panther’ movie stuns with depth



This is a continuation of a story published in the fifth edition of The Lion’s Tale newspaper (March 27, 2018).

In a world wracked by war, the nation Wakanda remains the last vestige of peace.

What does a nation that has never experienced significant conflict look like? And what does it look like when it is rich with the most valuable resource in the world–perhaps even the universe?

What if that nation is in Africa?

In Black Panther, director Ryan Coogler addresses these questions and weaves a movie that delves deep into Afro-Futurism, drawing on the Marvel Comics written by Ta-Nehsi Coates.

For a Marvel nerd, these are all exciting and new aspects that make an already heavily-anticipated movie worth even more hype. Even for the casual movie watcher, who may not have watched all the Marvel movies in perfect order or have contemplated the whereabouts of the Infinity Stones (although we’ll get to that in a moment), Black Panther is still a majestic marvel.

If you care about a good plot and characters, this film delivers. The main character, T’Challa, is the crown prince of Wakanda, whose king–T’chaka–has recently died. As T’challa prepares to ascend the throne, the country erupts into civil turmoil; challengers to the throne with new, vastly different ideals crop up.

T’challa is also the nation’s Black Panther, a worthy person who defends the isolationist nation from intruders–intruders who often seek to steal from Wakanda’s supply of vibranium. If that wasn’t enough, T’Challa also has to grapple with a moral and ethical struggle throughout the film as well.

That might sound like an unrealistically complicated amount of conflict, but many of these problems are interconnected, making it much easier to understand. The viewer is presented with a lot of information throughout the movie, keeping the brain working.

If you want a movie that simply entertains you, one you can forget when you walk out of the theater, don’t go to Black Panther. It challenges your perceptions of politics, family, ethics and technology.

Sleek: one word that sums up the atmosphere of the film, which is captured through the technology. The fight scenes and even the way each character moves, are all dosed with an elegance and class not normally portrayed in Marvel movies. Visual effects buffs will gasp over the sweeping views of Wakanda’s skyline, over its metalloid vibranium-powered technological advances paired with the vibrancy of traditional African art.

And while the film is sleek, the colors of Wakandans’ clothing and the neon lights illuminating much of the night-time surroundings give a nod to the direction Marvel studios has been taking its movies’ environments lately, echoing movies like the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.

See Black Panther if you are ready for depth, beauty, and adventure.