Blank Panther is a great movie in its own right.
It’s Marvel’s most recent instalment heading into ‘The Avengers – Infinity Wars’ and it is a superb stand-alone movie.
Culture is a central theme that enriched the overall quality of other aspects that go into a film. It is certainly a movie that those of African background (including African-Americans) can identify with and be proud of. Wakanda represents many aspects of African traditions and history, which inspired the movie throughout.
We first caught a glimpse of the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, but we were given a greater understanding of this character and his culture from the very outset. Audience members now have greater context and understanding of the Black Panther for future Marvel films.
T’Challa (The Black Panther played by Chadwick Boseman) was a very dignified character, bringing strength and composure to the role. The Black Panther is presented as one of the humbler and more gracious superheroes.
Unlike most films, audiences could feel a high level of sympathy for the villain in a unique way. Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B Jordan) and his story is one of a tough upbringing, and one who many would consider an honourable cause.
It was a Marvel film that fulfilled the checklist of what makes a great Marvel film. The action was there, with many internal and external battles, but always interesting. From car-chase scenes, the fall of the hero, a battle amongst soldiers leading to the penultimate fight, along with the standard humour, one-liners.
Sewing it all together were some superb soundtracks. Indeed, Kendrick Lamar composed the soundtrack for the film. He was able to weave his up-beat and unconventional sounds, creating the reverberations synonymous with the technology.
This style combined with the classic grand orchestral music that we know to expect with action films, and particularly Marvel films. It really is a Marvel film with a modern touch to it.
I am interested to know what might happen next in the Black Panther’s journey.
There was a lot of coverage leading up to this movie. There was plenty of discussion about the cultural importance of this movie, and was especially prominent in today’s context, particularly in the United States.
The success of this film tells us many things. Yes – African descendents have a hero to look out for. Yes – it is a big step. Yes – it highlights and celebrates culture. Yes – the movie’s themes draw parallels to today’s context about power.
But most importantly, did audience support it? Yes. Did they enjoy the action? Absolutely. Will Black Panther featuring in next year’s award season? Heavily!