Super cinema: All the reasons why you NEED to see ‘Black Panther’
Yeah, we’re feeling the superhero movie fatigue too, but Black Panther is the exception. Not only is it a fresh and genre-bending flick, with energy and charm bursting off the screen, but Black Panther is also just an absolute riot of a time at the cinema, and a politically-charged thriller that speaks volumes about the times we’re living in. We’ve seen the flick and we simply felt the need to get the praise off our chests.
It’s already breaking box office records through the roof, but before you go check it out, read our top eight reasons to get hyped for your trip to Wakanda.
Exploring the city-state of Wakanda
Social media was totally abuzz with Black Panther trailers and teasers trickling out over the last few months. The African-set superhero film places itself in the fictional country of Wakanda – a nation vastly technologically advanced compared with the rest of the world thanks to its Vibranium resources. As such, it’s put up a literal barrier to keep everyone else out.
Wakanda is also a full display of afro-futurism – an artistic movement that might finally get its moment in the sun. Exploring this city-state nation, complete with mixed biomes from snowy mountains to deep canyons, is an absolute treat.
The Tolkien white guys
Not exactly high on our list because, I mean, look at the film! It’s still worth pointing out, however, that Bilbo Baggins and Gollum get a good show. It’s quite rare to see live-action Andy Serkis, and he’s great fun in Black Panther. Meanwhile, Martin Freeman’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be just wandering around being awed by everything.
Michael B. Jordan makes the best Killmonger
Erik ‘Killmonger’ is the antagonist in Black Panther, and what he presents is honestly one of the best villains since the Joker in The Dark Knight. Killmonger is guided by angry rationale, and a fully fleshed-out motivation that’s tinged with emotion. Michael B. Jordan brings a deftness and heavy weight to the role, and he’s an absolute highlight of the flick. It will be interesting to see if Marvel manages to follow him up with Thanos in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
It’s take on race is an absolute triumph
Turns out, Spike Lee’s seminal film Do the Right Thing ended up a central inspiration for the racial commentary in Black Panther. It’s a clever film that manages to explore, with substance and utter respect, the black experience. Director Ryan Coogler has his finger on the pulse of present debates, as well as debates that have been raging for decades – it just took a tentpole superhero film to flesh out this conversation about race. In this respect, Black Panther is a total triumph.
Letitia Wright is everything
Letitia Wright is having a stellar year – having starred in Black Mirror season four’s best episode “Black Museum” – and her turn in Black Panther will surely catapult her to stardom. While she’s great comedic relief, and her cheeky charisma is utterly infectious, Wright’s character Shuri is also bold and fearless. She’s a young woman who constantly roasts her King-brother T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), but she also happens to be the smartest person on the planet, with more brains than Tony Stark. So rad!
Dora Milaje is also everything
Wakanda’s highest military leadership is the Dora Milaje – an elite group of women warriors, led by Okoye (Danai Gurira), who protect the nation at all costs. Coded into the narrative is an in-depth focus on the female lens, showing women as leaders and warriors. A noteworthy scene involves T’Challa’s ex Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), brought to vivid life by cinematographer Rachel Morrison. In this snippet, Okoye shows off the full power of the Dora Milaje tradition. It’s amazing to watch.
The soundtrack is badass
Coupled with some incredible songs from Kendrick Lamar, Ludwig Göransson manages to create a soundtrack that evokes all sorts of emotional tones and touchstones. Embedded within is the soul of Africa, with music coming from regions across the continent.
T’Challa is Wakanda’s true king
There is a reason why Ryan Coogler, of Creed and Fruitvale Station fame, was picked to oversee this project. Coogler’s forte lies with male characters figuring out their place in the world, and in Black Panther he brings that to the spotlight. T’Challa is a new King trying to fill big shoes – he has to deal with trauma in his family, while also overseeing the vast responsibilities of ruling Wakanda. As such, Chadwick Boseman is an absolute knockout as the lead.
So there you have our eight reasons to see Black Panther right now. And if you’ve already seen it, there’s a lot to celebrate. From the box office receipts, the film is poised to become a landmark, not just for the superhero genre, but for modern filmmaking itself. A huge congrats to the cast & crew. Long live the king!