Black Panther is hands down the best film in the Marvel Franchise!!! Why? Black Panther is on the road to do for Marvel what The Lion King did for Disney. The Lion King had Mufasa, Simba and The Pridelands…Black Panther has Wakanda, King T’Challa, Nakia and Killmonger. Black Panther also manages to show tender young love between a man and a woman, a man and his parents and unflinching love for one’s country no matter what the sacrifice.
When I tell you that I wanted to run out and grab a flight to Wakanda and dwell in a place where people look like me and walk with pride in their skin, I promise you I am not the only one walking out of theatres with that sentiment.
Introduced in another Marvel franchise, Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa finds himself in a precarious situation. He is not only faced with running Wakanda sans his father’s death, but there are new threats to his technologically advanced country as South African arms dealer Klaue (Andy Serkis) is determined to get his hands onto Wakanda’s richest resource…Vibranium. Vibranium, not only powers Wikanda, but it’s also the ingredient that makes Black Panther’s suit hella powerful. Klaue salivates about what he could do if he got his hands on Vibranium along with Killmonger (flawlessly played by Michael B. Jordan – who has an even more personal agenda).
However, the Women of Wakanda make this film for me. Angela Bassett as T’Challa’s graceful and powerful mother Romonda, Danai Gurira as Sgt. Okaye, Lupita N’yongo as Wakanda native and spy Nakia and Leititia Wright as T’Challa’s tech wiz little sister will give little girls a new view of what a black woman looks like on celluloid…strong, beautiful and smart. These dolls are kicking butts and taking names with gusto and ease in gowns and in armored gear. These dolls give me hope, that the conception concerning women of color on film is about to change and never go backwards. ‘Get Out’ Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya has some beautiful scenes and says more with one glance than most say in an entire film. Sterling K. Brown continues his streak of excellence as T’Challa’s uncle N’Jobu. Martin Freeman as FBI Agent Ross breaks up the action with hilarity and humanity as an ally of Wakanda.
The empowerment of women extends off the screen to behind the scenes with Production Designer – Hannah Beachler, Casting Director – Sarah Finn, Editor – Debbie Berman, Costume Designer – Ruth Carter and Cinematographer – Rachel Morrison. What Morrison does to create the beauty of Wakanda out the mountainous hills of Seoul, Korea is nothing short of spellbinding.
With all projects, the crew and cast are only an extension of the person at the helm and Director Ryan Coogler has permanently stitched himself into the Hollywood fabric as one of the most innovative directors stretching across multiple genres. What Coogler does with Black Panther is inspiring, admirable and transformative.
Marvel’s Black Panther is already on its way to becoming a superhero classic with advance ticket sales eclipsing every other superhero movie to date on Fandango. Black Panther opens nationwide on February 16th and is destined to alter the Marvel Comic Universe forever!