Wakanda Forever: “Black Panther” Movie Review
By the time this is posted, the excitement surrounding the movie, “Black Panther” may or may not have died down a bit. The good thing about this is that I can do spoilers. Making this movie the topic of this month’s blog post is a no-brainer. Having “Black Panther” come out during Black History Month is pure genius. At first, I was afraid to do a review on this movie because I wasn’t sure that this movie would live up to the hype—but it did! It exceeded my expectations.
"Black Panther" follows T'Challa who, after the events of "Captain America: Civil War," returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. Wakanda is rich in vibranium, a fictional metal which is among the strongest, most valuable resources on Earth. When an old enemy reappears on the radar, T'Challa's reign as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk. T’Challa’s long-lost cousin, Erik Killmonger, wants the vibranium to harness its power to help arm oppressed people worldwide to start a revolution. His plan is to take the vibranium from Wakanda and the technology derived from it and sell it to arm dealers and militias. He says he wants Wakanda to be an empire that controls the world.
First, I want to talk about the cast and characters of “Black Panther”, because are all so amazing and beautiful! Chadwick Boseman is an incredible T’Challa/Black Panther, a king who is a good man with a good heart, Michael B. Jordan makes a wonderful villain as Erik Killmonger, whose heart is way too bitter to change, Lupita Nyong’o is excellent as Nakia, a strong and courageous spy with a purpose to help others in need and T’Challa’s ex. It’s unfortunate that Erik Killmonger dies, he’s a strong enough villain to be in two movies. Daniel Kaluuya does a great job playing W’Kabi. Angela Bassett made a stunning Ramonda and Forest Whitaker made a great shaman, Zuri. My favorite characters are both strong and powerful (black) female characters -- Danai Gurira as the incredible Wakandan general, leader, and warrior, Okoye, and Letitia Wright as T’Challa’s sister, the super talented, brilliant, and tech genius, Shuri. I love Okoye for her strength and fighter spirit and Shuri for her intelligence. Both are characters that I admire.
Secondly, the fashion. The costumes in this movie are incredible. Thank you, Ruth E. Carter. I love the Dora Milaje’s (Wakandan warriors) costumes. The green, floor-length gown that Nakia wore in their attempt to capture Ulysses Klaue was stunning and all the costumes for Ramonda are beautiful! There’s a lot of good fashion in this movie.
Lastly, my favorite things about the movie. I love that the movie has strong, black female characters. How incredible is that? It’s so nice to see how powerful black women are in Wakanda! It’s just breathtaking! The women sort of outshine the men in this movie, including the Black Panther! And don’t get me wrong, the Black Panther is a strong and powerful black man. I also love how technologically advanced Wakanda is. The incredibly gifted and talented, Shuri, creates so many cool gadgets.
There’s the Black Panther suits that can absorb the attack of another person and repel or respond to that attack. Then, there’s the fact that she engineered a remote piloting system that lets her join any mission, no matter where in the world it might be. For example, her driving a car for T’Challa in South Korea. So cool! She’s also responsible for T’Challa’s sound-absorbing “sneakers”. She harnessed vibranium’s energy to create a public transit system that’s lightning fast. Shuri even creates Okoye’s retractable staff. What can’t this girl do? The last thing that I like isn’t something that I immediately noticed. However, I enjoy seeing every character wear natural hair. Erik Killmonger and Ramonda have dreadlocks, Nakia has “Wakanda knots”, Shuri wears braids, T’Challa has a mini afro, and the Dora Milaje are bald. It’s nice to see this in the movie. Overall, Wakanda and this movie are both amazing, and this movie is a prime example of Black excellence! I’m pretty sure I will be seeing this movie for a second time if not more. Go check it out for yourself!