Black Panther… A Contemporary Utopia: Movie Review
After becoming involved in the clashes between the martial factions of the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War, Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), now finds himself fighting for his crown. After the death of his father in a terrorist attack, he returns to his homeland Wakanda to face a series of adversaries which threatens his life as well as his country.
The film begins in 1992 in Oakland with a visit to an apartment from the king of Wakanda. What plays out there sets the film in motion. Then we are transferred to the present time, where T’Challa is about to undertake a bittersweet ritual before being crowned the new king of Wakanda. This crown means becoming the Black Panther, who protects Wakanda with heightened senses and abilities and an awesome superhero suit.
Wakanda is known to be the poorest country in the world. But the truth is it has been hiding behind a cloak of deception for years. In reality Wakanda has been able to maintain a rural cover co-existing with incredible technology built on vibranium. It is a unique metal explained in the prologue before the opening credits.
Enters Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), who, as his name suggests, kills a lot of people, all American attitude and entitlement. He wants everything Wakanda has and will stop at nothing to get it even if this means to kill T’Challa. Killmonger thinks Wakanda should use vibranium to trigger a race revolution and become the world’s master. He has his own personal reasons, which go beyond the political.
Women are present and essential in the movie. General Okoye (Danai Gurira) is the tough-as-nails lead warrior defending the throne, while T’Challa’s little sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is a brilliant scientist who supports Black Panther with the toys she comes up with in her lab. Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), is a wise worrier. She is T’Challa’s lover and partner in battle.
Here you go, you’ve got a deadly game of thrones movie with thrilling spies. A Marvel superhero movie which means enormous battles and chaotic fighting. But the movie doesn’t get lost in these scenes. Computer-generated effects make some of the scenes look like a video game, with people in high-tech suits fighting in the air (Oh that’s a movie to watch in 3D goggles). Yet there’s beauty: the costuming, the set pieces, and the presence of beautiful natural rich African culture. Also characters die but not in the bloodless, cartoonish ways known in movies like this.
Black Panther brings contemporary storyline without the excepted answers superhero movies often deliver with exciting action together in an outstanding movie that can please different types of viewers. In addition it sheds light on a current question: What is human’s role in the world today? T’Challa lays it out: “The wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.” It makes you wonder, is he addressing Trump or world leaders in general?
The movie also depicts a modern utopia on different levels. First, not only it presents a black super hero as the savior, but also hope and the high opportunities in this movie are offered by people often wronged in real life and not well represented on screen. Second, it suggests the perfect image of future where man enjoys an environment friendly high tech life style. The land of Wakanda illustrates Planet Earth as a place where modern technology serves man evolution and also preserves nature.
Black Panther movie combines superhero movie qualities from a thrilling story, impactful computer-generated scenes, with contemporary neat plot, besides it is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film starring a black superhero. For all those reasons it is certainly remarkable. This film is a testament to excellence that cannot be denied.