A No-Spoiler Black Panther Review
The newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Black Panther, is finally out! My husband was kind enough to take on my son’s bedtime duty last night so I could go see it opening night.
Black Panther takes you into a totally different world with its setting in the country Wakanda. While the rest of the world thinks Wakanda is a third-world country with very little to call its own, in reality it’s a world built on vibranium with technology that can change everything if the rest of the world gets its hands on it. And in Black Panther, that’s exactly what the villain wants to do – share Wakanda’s wealth with the rest of the world.
Black Panther was a different movie than pretty much all the MCU movies before it. It really is a stand-alone film in the sense that it doesn’t tie back to the Marvel Universe in any way until the post-credit clips. Or at least it doesn’t yet. We know from the Avengers: Infinity War Trailer that at least a major battle scene is fought in Wakanda but other than that, it feels isolated from the MCU, just like Wakanda has kept itself isolated from the world for so long.
Captain America doesn’t show up. There are no references to Black Panther’s tie back to the Avengers. It’s a totally stand-alone film that we haven’t seen in the MCU yet. And honestly, I think that’s why it works. I think it’s also why I really liked the movie but I didn’t love it as much as other Marvel movies (aka Thor: Ragnarok, Captain America: Civil War) or as much as I know others did.
I love the MCU because it’s a universe, not just because of its individual parts. That’s probably why I’m so excited about Infinity War – seeing the entire universe come together. Once Wakanda has joined forces with The Avengers in Infinity War, I may feel differently about Black Panther.
The Women in Black Panther
Unlike most other Marvel movies where the female characters play a backseat to the male leads, in Black Panther, the movie feels more about the women then the men. Even though two of the main characters (T’Challa and Erik Killmonger) are men, they’re more forgettable than their female counterparts. While the men are an essential part of the story, it’s the women that give Wakanda and Black Panther the heart and fire.
The thing I loved most was that the women weren’t just strong, they were so much more than that.
Shuri (Letitia Wright), my favorite, was a fierce fighter but her main strength was her intelligence. Nakia’s (Lupita Nyong’o) main strength is her heart and wanting help those outside Wakanda rather than hiding what they have. And Okoye (Danai Gurira), she’s loyal almost to fault. All three were incredible warriors as well, without the protection of a Black Panther suit. Just watch the clips below to see their strength in action.
All three are women that I hope all of the girls out there are looking up to – superheroes in their own right. I hope that if Kevin Feige finally gives the Marvel women a movie of their own like he talked about in the Thor: Ragnarok press conference that these three will be included somehow!
The Men in Black Panther
I mentioned it already, but the men in this movie really seem to play a backseat to the women. Both Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa) and Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger) do a great job in their roles, but I felt like T’Challa wasn’t as dynamic as I wanted him to be. I found myself rooting for Michael B. Jordan because of his backstory and because he seemed so much more passionate about his mission.
I can’t say much else without giving away plot spoilers, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it! Wakanda was a visual masterpiece. The acting was spot on, and the costumes made me wish I was a tribal warrior. I’m excited to see more of Wakanda in Infinity War in May.
Spoiler Alert: There are two clips during the credits – one in the middle and one at the very end. Don’t miss either one!
Is Black Panther Family-Friendly?
I have a 4-year-old boy who has seen some of the Marvel films including the latest Thor: Ragnarok. Black Panther is different than the other films, and I sadly won’t be taking him to see it.
There is a bit more language (a couple of s words if I remember correctly), but the big thing that will keep me from taking him is that violence. Unlike other Marvel films that have violence but not a lot of individual fighting and blood, this one has a good amount of actual hand to hand combat, blood, violence, and killing that is too much for the littles.
I’d use your discretion for older kids, maybe see it once then take them the second time around depending on the maturity of your kids. For adults and Marvel fans, it’s a must-see.
About Black Panther
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.
Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
Black Panther is now in theaters everywhere!
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