Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
Black Panther is unique to the MCU. It not only depicts tribal laws and traditions in Africa, but it also stands above the long-running film saga's formula and creates one of its own. It tries to inform and inspire, two elements that I feel the film succeeded in doing.
Black Panther follows T'Challa, the son of King T'Chaka of the African nation of Wakanda. As you may recall, King T'Chaka was killed in a bombing in the United Nations which set the events of Civil War in motion. This film takes place a week after the events of Civil War. We see T'Challa return home to Wakanda in order to claim the throne. Little does he know, there were secrets that his father took to his grave, secrets that could threaten not only T'Challa's rule but also the safety and security of the Wakandan nation itself.
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What hit me during this film was the message it was trying to send. It set clear distinctions between T'Challa and Erik Killmonger and showed you in detail why each man feels and thinks the way they do. The philosophy and psychology behind the characters alone mirrors society today as a whole. Now I truly understand why this film has been hyped and has received such praise. Black Panther wanted to show that everyone, even heroes, have to stop and really think about their convictions and ideals in order to make a decision that will help others. T'Challa was raised under the notion that Wakanda and all its technology and resources had to be kept secret because the outside world would poison it and turn it into something ugly. Look at Iron Man. When Tony was designing and building weapons for the military, he thought he was helping the good guys all the while padding his pockets in the process. It was only until he saw firsthand what his weapons in the wrong hands could do that he changed his ways. Same goes for T'Challa. It was only when he came face to face with Killmonger, a man who had seen the ugliness of the world and the horrific face of society, that he began to understand that perhaps Wakanda could be more.
The film had so much going for it. There was so much beauty in it, and not just in the story. It showed respect to tribal functions and laws and paid respect to their beliefs. The CGI effects also brought a beauty to how Africa was represented and how the ancestral plain was represented.
The acting was top-notch. Chadwick Boseman was the perfect casting choice for Black Panther. He was only briefly introduced in Civil War, but not really enough to understand him or feel for him. Black Panther gave us what we needed, showing us that this king and hero has his own struggles and pain and moral convictions. Michael B. Jordan brilliantly performed as Erik Killmonger, the "villain" who really wasn't as much of a villain as he was a man twisted by society and turned into a man full of pain and hate. One could almost sympathize with him...almost.
In conclusion, Black Panther is getting nothing short of high praise from me. Oh, by the way, the film has two end credit scenes. The first continues the story the film told while the second leads into the highly anticipated Infinity War. Be sure to stay and enjoy them both. As far as the film itself goes, do keep your mind open and think on what's being shown on-screen. The lesson and moral of the film is absolutely powerful and I hope it ushers in the much-needed change the world needs. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
© 2018 Nathan Jasper