Black Panther transcends race, gender

“Black Panther” is breaking records at the box office with a $427 million opening weekend.

Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) provide the core conflict in the latest Marvel cinematic universe chapter, which draws on the original comic’s story of Wakanda – a nation where advanced technology and enlightened society are concealed from the rest of the world.

The film sets the story with a cable news report that lets viewers know that to the outside world, Wakanda is nothing more than a third world county. Little does the rest of the world know, the nation of Wakanda is one of the most technologically advanced places on the planet. Wakanda is flowing with vibranium, the metal substance has made the remote African land the powerful nation that it is. Vibranium is also responsible for the creation of the Black Panther.

Boseman, as Prince T’Challa, returns home after the death of his father, King T’Chaka, to take his place as king. Following Wakandan ritual, T’Challa asks if anyone from the nation’s five peoples opposes him taking the throne. M’Baku of the Jabari tribe comes forward to challenge T’Challa  in a death fight for reign of Wakanda. T’Challa is victorious but allows M’Baku to live.

From this action-packed, yet thoughtful start, T’Challa, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Wakandan General Okoye (Danai Gurira) embark on a journey of action-packed international intrigue, hunting vibranium-armed weapons dealer Klaue from “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. T’Challa/Black Panther’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) gives the Wakandan contingent an edge with technology and weapons that Tony Stark would envy.

Klaue’s exposed partnership with Killmonger drives the movie from there, as viewers are drawn into a rich maze of

history and intrigue.

Even the supporting characters in “Black Panther” add depth and fun to the film. Ramonda (Angela Bassett) adds dignity and sly humor as T’Challa’s mother, and Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross realizes that the concept of the advanced Western world is a myth.

Black Panther
Black Panther

‘Black Panther’ is the superhero movie the world needed. For the first time ever in a Marvel film, viewers see a predominantly African-American cast. The social issues that the film addresses are especially relevant now. Themes of slavery and white colonization hit home throughout “Black Panther”.

Another remarkable aspect of “Black Panther” is the girl power present in the film. Shuri helps T’Challa by creating his wardrobe and the equipment he uses as Black Panther. The  Wakandan women of the Dora Milaje are trained warriors who fight to protect their land. They are all strong and powerful women and the female representation is needed on the big screen now more than ever.

Everything about this film from the plot, costumes, cast and soundtrack was great. I had been looking forward to the film since the trailer was released and it did not disappoint. If it was even possible, it exceeded my high expectations.

If you have not seen “Black Panther”, do so. You won’t be disappointed.

Black Panther will appear in the next Marvel cinematic universe film in May, “Avengers: Infinity War”.

Oh, and stay until the credits are finished.

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