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Chadwick Bosemen shines amongst strong cast

Black Panther, released Feb. 15, follows the story of T’Challa, the Black Panther, as he takes up the mantle of king after his father dies.

The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is here: Black Panther. This box office record-breaker follows the adventures of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the Black Panther, in the country Wakanda.

The movie follows T’Challa as he becomes king and encounters various challenges against his country and throne. The movie explores his transformation from the protector of his people to the king of his nation.

The movie begins into the past, set in Oakland, California 1992, where the previous king, T’Challa’s father T’Chaka (John Kani), confronts his brother N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown), who collaborated with a thief to steal some of Wakanda’s Vibranium.

The story then cuts to present day as T’Challa “rescues” his love interest Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) from her mission for his coronation. They travel back to the capital where he meets up with his mother, Ramonda (Angela Bassett), and his sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright). Soon after they go to the river district where T’Challa goes through several rituals to become king.

When they get back to the capitol, T’Challa tries to persuade Nakia to stay with him. She refuses, feeling she is needed more in the outside Wakanda where there are many people in need whom she believes she can help with Wakanda’s superior technology.

The focus then shifts from Wakanda to a team of thieves led by Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), a Vibranium thief, as they rob a museum for an artifact containing Vibranium. Prominent amongst the team is Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a mercenary and former Black Ops specialist, known for racking up “video-game-like kill numbers.” One thing Marvel has lacked in their movies is a memorable villain. Black Panther gives us this with Killmonger’s character.  

The plot goes back to Wakanda where T’Challa learns of Klaue’s location and is determined to go after him as it revealed that he stole Vibranium from Wakanda in the past. T’Challa assembles a team and sets off after him.    

The box office record-smasher is as thought provoking as it is action packed.

What sets Black Panther apart from its MCU counterparts is the movie’s commitment to the moral and political questions found within the film. These themes explored are the central spine of the movie, built into the architecture, rather than simply existing as another superhero movie which focus on big ideas, like the Dark Knight trilogy.

The film’s director, Ryan Coogler, incorporates afrocentric ideas excellently while at the same time floating the question, should we reach out and help others who need aid when we know we can support them? Or do we focus on ourselves?

Additionally, it is notable that the majority of the main cast are females. When T’Challa speaks with his deceased father, T’Chaka advises him to surround himself with people he trusts. Soon after, T’Challa almost exclusively surrounds himself with women who are all adored characters.

Black Panther is also likely going play an important role in the upcoming movie Infinity Wars; as the trailers have already shown some scenes of the movie taking place in Wakanda.  

I would recommend this movie to anyone and everyone, unless you are completely against actions movies. The amazing action combined with phenomonal acting and the philosophical questions set this movie apart from any other Marvel movie. One other caution, the movie does contain a bit of foul language.

Black Panther
4.2 / 5 Reviewer
Special Effects

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Matthew Sue can be reached via Twitter @matthewsue1 and via email: Matthew Sue.

Alexander Rurik can be reached via Twitter @alexrurik23 and via email: Alexander Rurik.

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