This does NOT contain spoilers.
Upon originally hearing about Black Panther, the film that’s well on its way to gross over 1 billion USD, I thought it was going to be another one of those throwaway Marvel superhero movies with a tragically predictable plot. I wasn’t really expecting it to be awful, but I wasn’t really expecting it to be something that I would want to write about either. It seems like they introduce a new Marvel movie every few months, so one would naturally think that their quantity would cause them to be mundane, which is true for the most part. The fact that I saw three superhero films in the previews didn’t help either.
Sometimes, I get fed up with superhero films simply because of how the idea of people recklessly running around with magical powers gets sort of repetitious. I think there’s a reason that such films were often designed for children, but now, we regrettably have the advent of people like Logan Paul to keep children occupied, so producers are forced to tailor their films to an older audience.
After a good deal of prodding from a friend, I was finally convinced to go see a matinee show, and I tried very hard not to have any irrational expectations about the film. I find that when I expect a certain theme or quality from a work, it can ruin the experience for me. However, I can’t seem to avoid the ordeal of watching nauseatingly long fight scenes and shoehorned-in romance plots, and most Hollywood producers can’t either. This one seemed to bypass most of that nonsense, and focus on topics that are more relevant to the audience.
This movie has something for everyone, and that’s arguably why it’s so popular. You’ll enjoy getting to see the fantastic scenery of Wakanda, and if you have any sort of affection for technology, you’ll be impressed with the stunning advancements that this fictitious society has created. As for those who prefer to be more politically active, they will enjoy getting to analyze the policies of this hidden African nation. However, the moral themes of this film are undoubtedly it’s greatest quality. Black Panther stirs thought within the audience about family, honor, commitment, and morality in a way that wasn’t forced, which is much more comfortable to watch. The complex relationship between T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) with the hidden powers of Wakanda, help the audience to call into question what we consider to be “right” and “wrong”. The external struggles experienced by this nation are just as confusing as the ones that we experience in our own sociopolitical environment today.
As a whole, Black Panther challenges the viewer to analyze the conflicts of the film without any political baggage, and to watch with raw unfamiliarity as we form our opinions of the movie and later carry those opinions out of the theatre doors. I consider it to be the duty of a film to cause me to have a different perspective on a topic after viewing it, and this one did just that. It isn’t perfect, but it will get as close as any other film we’ll see this year.
You’ll want to check out the soundtrack on Spotify too.