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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Black Panther is as Memorable as it is Meaningful

Black+Panther.

Black Panther.

“Black Panther” was a triumph. There’s really no other way to put it. However, the film’s brilliance extends past pre-conceived notions of what a great film is. Yes, in terms of the standards Marvel has set over the past 10 years, “Black Panther” is one of the best films the genre has ever seen. Yet, even when considering this, “Black Panther” is still so much more than just a standard blockbuster. With elements of black pride, Pan-Africanism, and even other modern political movements, “Black Panther” tells a real-life story through the lens of a comic book character and concept. Therefore, it is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most unique film.
“Black Panther” is a follow up to “Captain America: Civil War,” picking up just a week after the conclusion of “Civil War.” We continue T’Challa’s story as he becomes the Black Panther and learns about decisions that past Black Panthers have made. When an old and a new enemy of his country arises, T’Challa must make decisions about the future of Wakanda while also continuing his arc as he grows as a hero.
The acting in this film was spectacular. Obviously, it was great to have an all-black cast, but it was an all-black, star-studded cast. Of course, Chadwick Boseman reprised his role as T’Challa/Black Panther, but we also saw the introduction of Angela Bassett as T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda, the Queen Mother of Wakanda. We also see Forest Whitaker brought into the fold as he portrayed Zuri, an important religious figure in Wakanda. Other names like Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, and Sterling K. Brown have roles in the film, too.
Shifting back to Michael B. Jordan, he portrayed the main villain, Kilmonger, to perfection. I use the term villain loosely as he isn’t necessarily wrong in the things he is saying. The dynamic between T’Challa and Kilmonger is one that is reminiscent of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Kilmonger is an outsider, one who provides perspective on how black men and women are oppressed, while the entire country of Wakanda sits and does nothing. Kilmonger speaks from the heart and acts as a voice for all black men and women who fell at the hands of their oppressors—or colonizers, as they’re referred to in the film.
“Black Panther” is one of the best MCU films yet. It has fantastic fight sequences, a hero for the audience to root for, and a villain with depth and motives you have a hard time disagreeing with. As a superhero film, it is the best solo movie Marvel has made yet.
However, as a film in general, it is a major cultural benchmark. Until now, there has not been a major release in the superhero genre with a black hero and a nearly all-black cast. “Black Panther” did things no other blockbuster was willing to do, but at the same time, it excelled at the things everybody already loved about the genre.
This movie has something for everyone, whether it’s heart-stopping action, captivating character drama, a deep plot, or heavy nuances that weigh in on our culture. Marvel’s “Black Panther” really has it all, and everyone should get in on the experience.