9 out of 10
February is nationally recognized as Black History Month and on Thursday, Feb. 15, the release of “Black Panther” manifested a huge cultural milestone for African-American representation in superhero films. Marvel is well known for its largely radical and action-filled superhero films such as “The Avengers” and “Wonder Woman,” whose recent release celebrated the power of women.
“‘Black Panther’ is more than just a movie,” stated Lisa Respers France of CNN. “It’s a movement.”
Directed by Ryan Coogler, this film, centered on a black superhero, explores what it means to be black and features an almost entirely African and African-American cast.
Though I am not extremely familiar with all of Marvel’s superhero films, I knew that this film was important to watch, not only because of all of the mainstream attention it has been receiving – with reason – but because of what it represents.
“Wonder Woman” was a key for the representation of women who also possess superhero capabilities and now “Black Panther,” gives proper rendition of the African and African-American culture in a big-budget Hollywood film.
“Black Panther” takes place in Wakanda, a fictional African nation, and though it posses many resources, thanks to their advanced technological discoveries, it disguises itself as a Third World country in order to “protect its people.”
Drama and thrill initiates when the death of the original King surprises many and his son is crowned after winning a ritual challenge.
As a young King, the Black Panther now faces many doubts about his capability to guide his country to safety and in keeping his country’s secret from the rest of the world.
He soon faces many challenges including those from civilians and people he cares about, as they urge that Wakanda must do more for people in need outside of their country.
Though the Black Panther’s generous heart compels him to agree, he continues to believe that he is only responsible for his people by keeping that secret.
A new challenge arises when the Black Panther’s unknown American cousin, Erik Killmonger, reveals his identity and challenges him for the throne with his one motive, to share Wakanda’s weapons with the rest of the world.
After Black Panther accepts the challenge, Killmonger surprises everyone with his capabilities to fight and murders him.
Within one day, the destiny of Wakanda changes completed. Many doubt the new King but the rest remain loyal to their country regardless of their ruler.
While the new ruler plans to set sail for his new mission, the Black Panther is revived with potion from the country’s most prized possession but the return of this throne does not come easy and after fighting, he is able to defeat Killmonger and refrain the mission from completing.
Though Killmonger requests to die when he realizes he is unable to possess the throne, the Black Panther’s heart is moved by the occurrences and decides to share and reveal Wakanda’s identity with the rest of the world.