Black Panther: An Electrifying superhero Marvel movie
Mercedes Kanoda • February 16 2018
Black Panther is the latest Marvel project to find itself at the center of such a discussion, and while it isn’t a perfect film, what it does well is so unique and compelling that it deserves to be mentioned among the best of the studio’s big-screen adventures so far.
The film is directed by Creed filmmaker "Ryan Coogler" from a script by "Coogler" and "Joe Robert Cole", Black Panther casts "Chadwick Boseman" as T’Challa, the heir to the throne of the African nation of Wakanda. A highly secretive and technologically advanced country, Wakanda is protected by its king, who assumes the mantle of the Black Panther when he takes the throne and partakes of a mysterious flower that gives him enhanced strength, speed, and other attributes. T’Challa soon finds his rule challenged by threats both external and internal, including the dangerous arms dealer Ulysses Klaue and a deadly stranger, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, with a connection to Wakanda.
There was some commentary about war profiteering early on in the Iron Man films, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier glanced upon the idea of selling out privacy and freedom in the name of security. But more often than not, the studio’s films are primarily concerned with keeping all the narrative plates spinning on the long march toward the Thanos showdown that will finally start in Avengers: Infinity War.
Black Panther is different. Not only is it a long-overdue embrace of diversity and representation, it’s a film that actually has something to say — and it’s able to do so without stepping away from the superhero dynamics that make the larger franchise work. It’s gripping, funny, and full of spectacle, but it also feels like a turning point, one where the studio has finally recognized that its movies can be about more than just selling the next installment. In the process, the studio has ended up with one of the most enthralling entries in its entire universe.