Black Panther hit theaters Thursday evening, February 15th, and if you are anything like me, you rushed to the theater to see this long-awaited, highly anticipated film.
But before I get into the movie, I have one question:
WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL LEAVING THE MOVIE BEFORE THE POST CREDIT SCENES?
This is a question that needs answering. When the movie was finished, 60% of the people in the theater walked out. After the first credit scene, more people left and it was only 15 people left.
Ten years of Marvel dropping gems and hints in their films and folks still can stay for the end credit scenes. What amazed me the most is the second post credit scene is the perfect segway into Infinity War.
Don’t be like the guy behind me who was shocked. If you saw the scenes at the end of Civil War, then it was no surprise.
But on to Black Panther
“Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, MartinFreeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.
And when I tell you Black Panther and MCU snatched all kinds of wigs…well I mean it.
It is the first MCU film to feature a cast of primarily of black actors and actresses. Which we have all come to realize that in itself is amazing. There is no denying that many Hollywood portrayals of black people are often done so only as depictions of slaves or thugs. But we will touch more on that later.
Black Panther’s Introduction into the Marvel Universe
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Black Panther first hit comics in 1966 in the “Fantastic Four Volume 2” Issue 52. In 2016, the Marvel Cinematic Universe welcomed T’Challa/Black Panther and introduced him to its massive fan base in “Captain America: Civil War,”.
Synopsis of film
Black Panther picks up after the death of King T’Chaka in Civil War. T’Challa returns home to Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. However, secrets and mistakes from the past put him to the test. And we find out if he is truly ready to become king. With the fate of Wakanda and the world resting in his hands, T’Challa must rally his allies and release the full power of the Black Panther to secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
Rachel Morrison, who is a current Oscar nominee for her work on Mudbound, takes the visuals of this film to the next level. From the beautifully framed and perfectly faded hues in the ancestral plane to the amazing fight scenes in Korea, and Killmonger’s first Wakandan sunset. Also, there is a change in the direction at one point in the movie, that I was thought was amazing (I will update this later on to include the scene and why I loved it so much).
Political or Nah?
If you are a long time MCU fan, then you know that they frequently flirt with the realities of the world around us in various films. From political paranoia in Captain America; The Winter Soldier, to the American legacy of arming perilous nations in Iron Man and even the complex legacies of colonial histories and the violence which so often accompanies them in Thor: Ragnarok.
Black Panther is absolutely no different in this manner. It goes without saying it will be uncomfortable for some people. But the question you have to ask yourself is why you are uncomfortable. And if you are offended, then those feelings were there long before you entered the theater (I’m just keeping it real).
Killmonger was right…
Killmonger played by Michael B. Jordan, is probably one of the most complex and best villains in the entire MCU. What I enjoyed most about this character is that he isn’t your typical villain. He is angry, there is no doubt about it, but his anger and volatility comes from a real place, that is common amongst many in inner cities who feel as if they have been left behind. That hurt and that pain experienced breeds danger. And we see it in Jordan’s character.
Is this movie for kids?
As parents, we know our children. There are a few intense scenes. Let’s be real (again), people die in this film and there is fighting. This is nothing like Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor: Ragnarok. Black Panther deals with real things and even if you think your kids won’t catch on, they just might. You have to make sure that as a parent you are prepared to answer any questions they may have.
There is fighting, which is on par with other Marvel films. However, most of the fights are hand to hand combat, something that is commonly seen in many African tribes.
How Parents Can Open The Conversation about Race & Diversity
- Families can talk about the role models in Black Panther. Who are they, and what character strengths do they exhibit? How does T’Challa demonstrate courage, integrity, and even teamwork?
- Why is it important for superheroes to be diverse? How is Black Panther an example of both racial and gender diversity compared to other superhero films?
- How does the movie explore issues related to race? Why is Erik’s perspective on the world so different from T’Challa’s? Is one right and the other wrong? Why, or why not? Why does representation matter in movies and books and on TV?
- How are the Dora Milaje (T’Challa’s all-female combat fighting force) unique in the Marvel Universe? What did you think of the way the movie portrays women in usually “male” roles — i.e. tech expert, warrior general, spy, etc.? What message does that convey to viewers?
- What is the movie’s message about global responsibility? Do you agree with the view that the Black Panther should keep Wakanda safe at all costs or with the idea that Wakanda should help less-stable, less-advanced nations and communities by sharing their resources?
Okay…I know you want to know one thing…
Is the soul stone present in Black Panther?
Chile, I don’t know.
For more on my thoughts about Black Panther and what this means for Infinity War, check out my video VLOG!
Great Reviews from my blogging friends!
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.