In 2018, Marvel’s film Black Panther, sent shockwaves throughout the movie industry and instantly became a cultural phenomenon. This weekend, SAB’s Screen on the Green showcased the smash hit, a month after the untimely death of T’Challa himself, Chadwick Boseman. Before re-watching this movie for the first time in a few years, I wondered if it would deliver the same experience that it did in theaters. I will say that I certainly was not disappointed.
The film picks up very shortly after the events of Captain America, Winter Soldier, (2014). T’Challa is returning to his fictional homeland of Wakanda to take the crown after his father’s murder a week before. When returning, we become immersed in Wakandan culture.
The audience learns that Wakanda is a small country in Africa that is holding its valuable resources from the rest of the world. This allows them to appear poor to other nations, while they flourish behind a hidden forcefield.
The technology department of Wakanda is run by T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letita Wright). They use the fictional metal of vibranium to create their weapons, armor and everyday products.
The city of Wakanda is split up into multiple tribes who mostly live in harmony. The Jabari tribe have isolated themselves from the rest of Wakanda and live in the mountains with their leader, M’Baku (Winston Duke). At the crowning ceremony for T’Challa, M’Baku challenges for the throne in fist-to-fist combat. T’Challa, arising victorious, takes the crown and mantle as Black Panther.
Meanwhile in America, a rebel war veteran named Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) is stealing Wakandan artifacts with the help of super-criminal, Klaw (Andy Serkis). We eventually find out that Killmonger is actually the cousin of T’Challa, who was left in Oakland in his youth when his father was murdered. Killmonger begins to seek revenge on Wakanda and fights his way to challenge T’Challa for the throne.
Again, the first time I saw this movie, I was blown away. It was such a great change of pace from the regular Marvel film. I would argue that Black Panther does the best job at world building in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The audience still feels the awe that surrounds Wakanda and their brilliant technology.
It is also important to note that the relationship between Boseman and Jordan’s characters really shines through this film. I would mention however that Boseman does a better job pulling off his role than his counterpart. That is not meant as a slight to Jordan, but rather a compliment to one of the better actors of this generation.
Black Panther is proof that movies are able to create a significant cultural impact. The film’s beautiful cinematography, battle scenes, music and much more make it an instant classic.
Black Panther gets 5 stars out of 5