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In its opening weekend, Black Panther made over $360 million worldwide, surpassing the total domestic earnings of both Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor. With an all-black cast, black writer and director Ryan Coogler, and soundtrack produced by music tycoon Kendrick Lamar, the film is clearly an anomaly from the typical superhero movies of our era.
Yet in the case of Black Panther, being different is by no means a bad thing. Instead, the film’s differences made it better than nearly any other superhero movie the world has seen.
As mentioned before, Black Panther’s cast is star-studded with the likes of Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan. With the film serving as a platform to show the immense talent of black actors and filmmakers all too often overlooked in Hollywood, the choice of casting sends an impactful message that ultimately paid off in both sales and critical acclaim – shown in the 97% rating the film has received from critics on popular film site Rotten Tomatoes, tying it with The Incredibles for the highest rating of a superhero movie ever.
Black Panther centers around protagonist T’Challa, played by Boseman, who is the king and therefore “Black Panther” of the fictional African nation Wakanda. The film follows the days after the death of T’Challah’s father, the former king of Wakanda, and T’Challah’s ensuing struggle with villain Erik Killmonger played by Jordan.
The movie was excellent in almost every single way. Coogler, did a great job filming the fight scenes they were compelling and dynamic just like the ones he directed in Creed. The music was fantastic and was the perfect accompaniment for the movie. Another major plus for the movie was the costume design. The Black Panther suit itself was fantastic, but the costumes for the Dora Milaje, who are the king’s special guard, was really amazing. The acting is superb, which is to be expected with such a talented cast, with Michael B. Jordan in particular shining through.
One of the biggest critiques of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the lack of truly great villains. However, in Killmonger, Coogler was able to create a complex villain who some viewers may have understood and even related to. Killmongers intense passion and conviction make him the most compelling villain the MCU has seen since it began its empire in 2008 with Iron Man. Not only was Killmonger convinced what he was doing was right, but what he believed wasn’t such a radical idea that it made his motivations entirely unrealistic.
Not only was the acting and directing great in this movie, but the plot and writing of the movie was exceptional as well. The movie was filled with compelling dialogue and plot twists. Additionally one of the reasons that this movie was so good was how clearly and intentionally it addressed one of today’s biggest issues.
The topic of refugees and providing foreign aid has been a talked about issue for a long time and this movie uses Wakanda as a vehicle to bring up a real issue in the world in the movie. Whether or not Wakanda should be using their technology to help others was the main difference between T’Challa and Killmonger. Having a movie address real issues makes for a far more thought provoking and intriguing movie experience and Black Panther definitely accomplishes that.
The curated soundtrack for the film was produced by Kendrick Lamar which created a lot of excitement for the film, which was highlighted by the album being released on Spotify a week before the movie was premiered.