Much has been said about Marvel Studios latest movie Black Panther, and it is all good. In fact, it scored an almost unprecedented 98 points on ‘Rotten Tomatoes.’ Whether you are an avid Marvel fan or a newbie, the movie will provide most kids and their parents with action-packed and thought-provoking entertainment.
Black Panther is probably one of the most promoted movies of 2018. In fact, the hype started a year in advance and took off during Disney’s July D23 Conference. The film packed with a top of the line cast and plenty of action promises to become a game changer in Hollywood.
The story is set in the fictional country of Wakanda. It tells the story of T’challa / Black Panther who ascends to the throne after his father dies in a terrorist attack.Wakanda regarded as a ‘third world country’ by most, is a prosperous technological advanced place with a big secret. It mines Vibranium.
T’challa’s predecessors chose to shield Wakanda from potential enemies and didn’t share the Vibranium with the world. When villains Klaue and Kilmonger, plot to steal the precious commodity the new king is forced to protect his nation and revisit the decision to keep Vibranium hidden.
Black Panther is a conversation starter
As a parent, I like movies that not only entertain but also have thought-provoking storylines. And this one certainly delivers.
The main theme deals with the question of whether T’Challa should share Vibranium with the rest world. A multi-faceted dilemma of whether one should always choose the ‘greater good’ over individual needs or not.
The plot also raises the pertinent question of racism and how the world perceives Africa and blacks. It points out that even decades after the end of colonial rule, the continent is still seen as a poor and violent place. But what makes Black Panther fascinating is the fact it provides viewers with a tantalizing glimpse of a ‘would be’ Africa. It speculates that if Europeans hadn’t conquered, it could have been a prosperous place filled with traditions and cultures.
Top notch cast
Of course, there have been other movies featuring black actors, but this one seems to go the extra mile. With a mostly black cast and a gripping storyline about Africa, it not only encourages black cultural pride but helps promote diversity and the better understanding of black perspective.
Chadwick Boseman does a superb job as the softhearted but pragmatic monarch while Michael B Jordan as his adversary manages to make his villain character strangely relatable. Other noteworthy performances are Angela Bassett as T’Challa’s mother Ramonda and Danai Gurira as Okoye.However, the real scene stealer is newcomer Letitia wright as Shuri who elevates sibling rivalry to a new level with her bubbly personality and witty sisterly digs.
Many superhero movies focus on the action and forget to develop their characters. But not this one! Black Panther’s plot is storytelling at its best. The movie’s main characters are captivating and multi-faceted helping viewers identify with their dilemmas and decisions.
T’Challa a superhero by definition with a well-developed social conscience while Kilmonger, a vengeful villain also has a softer vulnerable side. Wakanda’s women are equally delightful. From sister Shuri and mother Ramonda to Okoye commander of the Dora Milaje; these are women stand out as strong, passionate and outspoken individuals. My favorite was Nakia portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o who isn’t your typical cookie-cutter love interest. In fact, as an independent thinker, she gives T’Challa a run for his money at times.
You’ll love the gadgets
Those of you who enjoyed Q’s devices in the Bond movies will like Shuri super cool gadgets. The girl is a technical wiz. From medical healing secrets to a Vibranium suit that recycles energy, Black Panther sets a new standard for fictional futuristic innovations.
Over the top action
For adrenaline rush seeking kids and adults, this is the movie to see. It has such jaw-dropping car chase scenes it made me want to test drive the new Lexus.
Moreover, the close shots of the person-to-person combats enhanced by upbeat music are equally riveting. And speaking of awesome music- my son couldn’t stop playing Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All the Stars” for an entire week.
Don’t miss the famous Marvel staples
No Marvel flick is complete without the signature Stan Lee cameo, and this one is no different. Just like Hitchcock, Mr. Lee gets a kick of appearing in the movies he works on. And the cameos get better with each film.
If you happen to be a Marvel newbie, then remember you cant leave the theater without watching the end credits. They are a BIG DEAL in the Marvel Universe and include unique takes as well as relevant details about the next movies!
What’s up with the Rhinos?
Black Panther isn’t a funny movie like Thor Ragnarock or Guardians of the Galaxy, but it still has amusing moments. For most of the film, it is Shuri that provides the comic relief. However, towards the end, she gets some serious competition in the shape of quirky rhinos.
Black Panther is a highly entertaining movie with a well-developed storyline and interesting characters. Furthermore, the movie packed with impressive stunts and eye-popping scenery delivers a fictional yet compelling view of African culture.
Additional tips for parents
- The film is rated PG-13 since it does contain some graphic combat scenes.
- The level of profanity is low with a few s### and hell exclamations.
- The movie contains no nudity or sexual references. The costumes though somewhat revealing are tastefully designed, so they look like the run of the mill beachwear.
- The movie’s two hours run time may be too much for some kids particularly those with autism.
- Black Panther contains extended scenes with loud music. If your kid is noise sensitive, you might want to bring a pair of headphones or earmuffs to block the noise intensity.
- The movie uses subtitles in scenes when the characters speak in their native language. The captions may make following the plot challenging for viewers who can’t read fast.https://youtu.be/dxWvtMOGAhwhttps://youtu.be/GfCqMv–ncA
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BLACK PANTHER arrives in theatres everywhere on February 16th!
Disclaimer: Marvel Studios invited me to a complimentary screening and press junket for the’ Black Panther movie. However, all opinions are my own.