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Black Panther

Black Panther: All Hail the King!

  • Chadwick BosemanLupita Nyong'o...
  • Action & AdventureScience Fiction
  • Ryan Coogler
reviewed by
Nader Issa
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Black Panther: All Hail the King!

The first feature film adaptation, based on the popular Marvel Comics character, has been highly anticipated since the Black Panther character made his debut in the film Captain America: Civil War. Now the wait is over,  and the first superhero film to feature an entire African-American cast and crew, is here! 

Made by renowned director Ryan Coogler, the film, which had been in development for almost a decade, delivers on its promises of creative greatness. For example, throughout the film’s entirety, the nation of Wakanda is developed like a character, in and of itself. By constantly exposing audiences to the cultural traditions of the nation, Coogler’s efforts to establish Wakanda itself as a character, rather than just a mere back drop/setting to the story, adds a layer of depth and unique creativity to the film’s narrative. 

The true marvel of this film, however, lies within its social importance. Coogler, along with his dedicated cast and crew, unprecedentedly deliver a superhero film that addresses the importance of embracing those who possess ideologies, beliefs, and origins that are perhaps different from one’s own. Furthermore, the film marks a historical moment in cultural history: the film’s superhero and protagonist – Chadwick Boseman –  is a person of color . The importance of this former point ought not to be dismissed; being a highly visual and influential medium, cinema possesses the powers of representation and re-presentation within its very hands.

Hence, the fact that people of color are now getting their own superhero, should not at all be casually overcome, without serious consideration of its consequences. Moreover, the sheer fact that a person of color is presented quite literally as a superhero, ought to make audiences critically compare between this film, and films in which people of color are limited to portraying thugs, gangsters, jailbirds, villains etc.

The film simultaneously provides audiences with enough drama, conflict, action, and humor to keep them engaged. Perhaps, one of the film’s most engaging elements is the antagonist played by Michael. B. Jordan: Eric Killmonger. Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay, adds depth to a character that could’ve been brushed off as a mere disposable antagonist to the story’s protagonist. Instead, Coogler affords Michael. B. Jordan the leeway he deserves. This resulted in the creation of a multi-layered and sympathetic villain, one that audiences are largely able to sympathize and identify with. 

Hence, it’s safe to say that even those without an affinity for superhero films, will still find this film quite engaging. This is because the film strikes the perfect balance between carrying a message, on the one hand, and providing entertaining content, on the other hand. Speaking of entertaining content, the film’s action sequences are outstanding, in as much as they are excellently choreographed and ideally shot. 

All in all, this film sets the stage for a new and elevated version of comic book films, as a direct result of its representation of individuals who possess different ethnicities, races, and culture backgrounds. In that regard, Black Panther has already left its historical mark, and made a great impression. 

Like This? Try

Captain America: Civil War (2016), The Dark Knight (2008), Blade (1998), Creed (2015)

360 Tip

The fighting in this film is based on African martial arts.

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