Black Panther Review #WakandaForever

I’ve mentioned before that growing up, Spider-Man was my favorite superhero of all time. While I knew that we both didn’t look alike, knowing that Peter Parker was a smart boy that was just trying to fit in sometimes was something that I related to. I remember the first time I saw him on the big screen it felt really good and I teared up a little because this was my guy and in a small and strange way, that was me. I feel that many young children who have never seen themselves represented on the big screen are going to have that same experience that I had when they see Black Panther.

Black Panther continues about a week after the events in Captain America: Civil War and follows T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returning to Wakanda. If you have not seen Captain America: Civil War yet, go watch it now, make sure you watch all the after-credit scenes and come back to this review. Don’t worry, we’ll wait. Ok, you’re done? Good! Let’s continue. 

Now here’s the thing; even if you have not seen Civil War this movie works great on its own. While there are a few references to other Marvel movies, they are not heavily relied on to make Black Panther work. Martin Freeman’s character Agent Ross was last seen in Civil War and Andy Serkis’ Klaue was seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron where he lost his…I mean is it still a spoiler when that movie came out about 3 years ago?

Well, anyway those two characters are in this movie and while Ross has some heroic moments during the last battle, Klaue singing Haddaway’s song “What is Love?” is a funny moment in the film and will make me think of him whenever I hear that song. Other than these two being in the movie, there really is not a need for the other characters to make a cameo. 

I am not going to go play-by-play with every scene in the movie because there is so much to digest during every scene. The entire movie, minus two scenes, take place entirely in Wakanda. This nation is looked upon as a poor third-world place that has no way to contribute to society, but Wakanda is so much more than that. This nation has technology that is light-years ahead of anything that is readily available and they owe all of it to the vibranium meteor that crashed on their part of the world centuries ago. 
Tony Stark has some incredible tech that he has created, but it is nothing compared to what Shuri, T’Challa’s little sister has created. Not only does Shuri have all the best tech but she also has all of the greatest lines in the movie. I know the next time I see someone wearing a new pair of shoes I am going to ask about them like she does to T’challa. I am very curious to see the connection or devices that she can create with Stark and Dr. Banner. That could be pretty interesting.

Speaking of interesting, Michael B. Jordan’s portrayal of Erick Killmonger is perfect. It’s refreshing to see a villain that has the swagger and confidence that Killmonger has. From his first scene in the museum, we can pretty much tell that he is someone not to mess with. I mean, who walks into a throne room with handcuffs on and proclaims that they want the throne. Then looks over to the queen and instead of saying “Your Highness” or addressing her by her title he says, “Spoiler Alert, highlight to read or you can skip it and see it yourself” “Hi Auntie!“. I mean he is so brash that it is perfect to see the contrast of his “by any means necessary” attitude against T’Challa’s calm and thoughtful demeanor. 

Once Killmonger’s story is told you kind of feel for the guy, but he would probably tell you where to shove those feelings. The first fight between Erick and T’Challa is pretty tough to see. I mean it is filmed beautifully, but the raw power of Erick’s attacks on T’Challa is brutal and one of the many moments that brought tears to my eyes. 

Yes, this movie is emotional due to the cultural impact of what is finally being represented on the big screen. We see an entire nation of proud Wakandans that are not relying on other countries to protect them. They have the power and technology to pretty much solve any problem in other countries, but rely on their past to not become involved in the problems of other countries. They are also aware of what might happen if they were to share their wisdom with the outsiders or “colonizers” as they call them. There are many parallels in some of the scenes of the elders talking about what they should do to preserve their country which mimics some of those same conversations going on in our world today.

If there is any trouble on Wakanda they will have to face the Dora Milaje, the all-female Wakandan Special Forces. Seeing this group of all-female warriors on the screen and fighting in unison brings back memories of the Amazons in Wonder Woman and we need to see more powerful women like this on the screen. It was pretty awesome seeing Danai Gurira’s character of Okoye throw her wig at an oncoming enemy while fighting off another guy with her staff. Yes, watching these women run into battle was such a great moment and I hope to see more of them in action in Infinity War.

Final Thoughts: Black Panther is a great stand-alone movie. Everything you need to know about him is summed up in the first 10 minutes and the flashbacks to Civil War let you in as to what happened to his father. The story is great and Micheal B. Jordan is a great villain that will be long remembered. This is a groundbreaking movie that needs to be experienced on the big screen. Remember, this is a Marvel movie, so do not get up until all of the credits have finished.

Kid Friendly: This ranks up there with all recent Marvel films and the use of the word “shit” pops up every now and then. The movie is a little over 2 hours so younger children might start getting antsy. There are a lot of powerful female figures in this movie and I think after Wonder Woman this is what young girls need to see. More of these strong women on the screen, please.

Violence: This is a Marvel movie, so expect a lot of action scenes. In some scenes, the action is fast-paced that it is hard to register everything that is going on. While in other scenes the fights are more visceral and up close as to what is happening.

Fandads Rating: 5 out of 5

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