As always, Spoiler Alert.
Sometimes a movie is more than just a movie.
Black Panther definitely fits that category.
Like any Marvel movie, there was a lot of excitement surrounding its release. But much of it was of a different tone than usual. Beyond the normal nerdiness, there was an understanding that Black Panther had the potential to be an important film. It wouldn’t be the first black superhero movie, but this one had the might of Disney’s Marvel juggernaut behind it.
Now, I’m not a fan of Disney and their homogenization of every franchise they absorb. Fortunately, Black Panther manages to avoid the worst of Disney’s excesses in that regard. The general quippiness is absent, and serious themes like colonialism, revolution, tradition, and cultural identity are woven throughout the story. The characters are also more fully realized in this standalone film than any of the ones who have been in multiple Marvel films.
Plus, there’s the Dora Milaje. One of the games I play while watching Marvel movies is keeping a mental list of who I’d most like to have my back in a fight in that universe, and after seeing Black Panther, I’m not sure anyone’s ever going to knock the Dora Milaje out of the top spot.
They are powerful characters in a film that is, ultimately, about power – fighting it, gaining it, sharing it, and using it wisely – told from the perspective of those who have historically been oppressed. The result is a genuinely powerful film that’s also a great deal of fun to watch.
To see other posts in my venture to watch my movie collection in alphabetical(ish) order, click here.