Black Panther: Just Another Marvel Movie, or Something More?


Alexander Nadirashvili, Editor

On February 16, 2018, Black Panther hit theaters as the next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, becoming an instant success throughout the whole country. During its four day opening period on President’s Day, the film allotted $242 million domestically. Since its release, the movie has broken countless box office records, being the biggest global debut for an all black cast and the greatest domestic opening for a black director. It seems as if Black Panther is showing audiences everywhere that films with black casts, and especially black superheroes, can be just as successful as any white-dominated film, and it is lucky that such a hilarious and interesting film is doing so.

Black Panther is based on the comic-book character of the same name. Located in the fictional country of Wakadana, which is a technological marvel hidden under the guise of a third-world African country, the movie follows T’Challa, the country’s king who takes over the title of monarch and the title of Black Panther after his father passes away. With the ensemble cast littered with brilliant characters such as T’Challa’s family and friends, the film was destined to be a great hit from the moment it was first proposed.

One of the film’s components which makes Black Panther so memorable, is its action-packed and hilarious storyline. Much like most other Marvel movies, this superhero story had cinematic and intense action scenes. Within seconds, the movie went from Wakandan waterfalls setting the stage of ritual battles to an intense car chase around a South Korean casino. Aided by smooth camerawork and beautiful settings, the action scenes greatly aided the intense and atmospheric attitude of the movie, sure to keep every viewer on the edge of their seat.

However, Black Panther was more than serious battle scenes, as it also managed to maintain a sense of humor. A heavier incorporation of humor is a new trend which has arisen in Marvel Movies, Thor: Ragnarok being the first film to have a major comedic aspect to it. While Black Panther did not rely on humor as much as the Thor: Ragnarok, it managed to incorporate comedy quite smoothly. There were several great scenes of both Shuri, Black Panther’s genius sister, and Everett K. Ross, an American agent, which had the audience laughing numerous times. The comedic timings of Letitia Wright and Martin Freeman were truly on point and helped lighten the otherwise serious attitude of the movie, making the film a perfect combination of seemingly contrasting genres.

Overall, the whole storyline of Black Panther kept the audience interested throughout the film. With plot twists, intense battle scenes, and laugh-out-loud moments, the movie never failed to keep the viewers invested in its plot and characters.

Black Panther has also been praised for stressing the African culture, which greatly influenced Wakanda and the movie’s main cast of characters. The wardrobe and makeup of the characters was a huge blend of many different African cultures, and the internet has even gone on to point out many of these influences through numerous twitter threads and other social media posts. The movie also incorporated traditional African music into its soundtrack, which only helped create its authentic atmosphere. Overall, the film did a great job of featuring its African influence, perhaps being the first movie to successfully incorporate African culture without being ignorant or facing consequences at the Box Office.

Obviously, Black Panther is a superhero movie like no other, and it definitely broke the somewhat repetitive attitude of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It perfectly blended dramatic story-lines, hilarious interactions amongst the amazing cast of characters, and the African culture which so heavily influenced the story at its root. This tale of an African superhero and his kingdom and its already record-breaking legacy should not be ignored, and anyone who wishes to have a great time should buy themselves a ticket, head over to the movie theater, and witness the greatness that is Black Panther.