Marvel is on an absolute roll. There is no denying it! With Thor: Ragnarok at the end of last year, and now Black Panther–rock stars.
I actually took a while to jump on the Marvel fan-train–I was desperately tired of the saturation of a million superhero movies, and honestly Civil War was my breaking point. I couldn’t do it anymore. I switched to Netflix and rewatching childhood movies, ignoring the theater entirely. I mean, why go if I’d seen all the movies in essence anyway?
My husband and I recently invested in MoviePass (a KILLER investment, by the way–https://www.moviepass.com for more info) and he insisted I end my hiatus. The christening movie was Thor: Ragnarok which he only enticed me to attend with promise (and delivery) of tons of snuck-in candy. Then, during my sugar-induced craze I realized I was thoroughly enjoying the movie. It wasn’t the dead serious, overly action-packed superhero film I was familiar with. It was actually great!
This helped to gently ease me back into the theaters, and even more so, Marvel. So, when I saw the Black Panther trailer, I was inclined to test my new limits: would this maintain the very delicate inclination toward Marvel I’d fostered? Would I run back to F.R.I.E.N.D.S reruns and Harry Potter, swearing off theaters once more? The soundtrack convinced me–at least I’d be grooving during the movie.
We hit the theater with a couple friends, the trailers roll, and then: Black Panther. And may I just say? It knocked my socks off! BRILLIANT! Never again will I doubt the marvel that is Marvel.
If you haven’t watched it yet, firstly: GO WATCH! Secondly, I’ll recap the basic premise without spoilers. Our hero is King T’Challa, who must rise to the challenge when an outsider threatens the kingdom, revealing secrets of his own.
The movie is truly magnificently done. The attention to detail to costumes, language, ritual, and story is impeccable. They mixed African and American cultures quite well, with our villain being an American Wakandan, our protagonist being an African Wakandan. There was never a slow moment in this film–spots of humor kept the story going when there was a lull in action, and crazy battle scenes left the audience in awe.
Black Panther has also sparked a lot of discussion recently, more than just praise of the movie. There’s been a lot of backlash to critics saying that it’s the first Black superhero movie; while I understand the critics maybe mean the first Marvel film to do so, but this is definitely not the first film to feature a Black leading man or woman.
Also, this film is instigating a wonderful surge of ethnic pride with people even dressing in ceremonial clothing to premieres and showings.
I’m from South Africa, so watching this movie literally brought tears to my eyes. Firstly, the ‘Wakandan’ language is actually Xhosa, one of South Africa’s eleven official languages. Secondly, Andy Serkis’ Afrikaans accent is right on the money. That man is a genius.
Some people complain that this is just a movie with a Black cast, that this is not a race movement; I personally don’t see the expressions of pride resulting from this movie as a race movement. We all have our histories, and are welcome to celebrate them. As for me–I’ll be celebrating by seeing this again in theaters. I suggest you do the same!