By Cynthia Ayala
“T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T’Challa’s father’s mistake.” —IMDB
What an amazing film. As a comic book reader, appreciate movies that do their hardest to stay true to the original work. With comics, an adaption from page to screen becomes a little harder, mainly because comic books have been around so long and contain thousands of storylines. So, when I go to the theater, I take the movies with a grain of salt, hoping they do not distort the story too much. Marvel continues to impress me, understanding just how to write and structure the films so that they intermingle with one another, without losing their substance.
Black Panther excels at that.
This film was fantastic that, of course, took liberties with the plot, but those liberties helped to build the story while also capturing the essence of everything that makes Black Panther such titular character. Chadwick Boseman has had many iconic roles. He was Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get on Up, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. Now, Boseman can add another iconic role to his resume. As T’Challa/Black Panther, he has become the most successful African-American superhero in film history. His portrayal of the character was charismatic, it was encouraging, and it was spot-on. In his acting, he captures the essence and kind-heart of the character as he reconciles become a king through the worst circumstances (watch Civil War). However, what also comes to the surface are the events that created Killmonger. As a king, his father made a misguided and challenging move that ended up leading up to the creation of Killmonger. By doing this, it strays away from unpredictability that in fact, some heroes do create their own villains. It is a common comic book trope that one cannot escape when reading comics. However, that being said, this does lend some depth to the character. Moreover, that depth is what makes it so amazing. Michael B. Jordan delivers a fantastic performance and adds to another level of emotion to the character. He taps into the characters pain and gives the villain dimension, making this villain one for the record books. He is not just some bad guy doing bad things for power, he a villain who speaks for a race that has been mistreated for centuries. Moreover, that right there is what makes this film compelling.
This is a rich film because the entire main cast is made of African-Americans, As just a person, a light-skinned Latina, I appreciate how impactful this film is, and I love how it represents the African-American culture is a higher light. I believe that this sort of representation is essential for the culture because it shows them that they can be more what society likes to represent them as. It is vital that every culture is portrayed as more than just thugs and criminals. Moreover, that is why this film is so iconic. Not only does the film bring to life the characters of the movie with vibrancy and accuracy, but it also has such vibrancy cinematography and powerful representation that is important, especially in tonight’s sociological climate.
Black Panther is a fantastic film. It has a great story and, even with adjustments, follows the comics faithfully while delivering excellent direction and acting. (★★★★ | A)
Directed by Ryan Coogler
Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole
Based on Black Panther by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker & Andy Serkis
Rating | Length | Genre: PG-13 | 2h 14min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures