I know, everyone is talking about it these days but we can’t talk about it enough. Before the #blackpanther movie premiered across the world a few days ago, the specific marketing that was done by Marvel Studios was nothing short of amazing. It all started with the Captain America: Civil War movie which was released in mid 2016. The Black Panther character as played by Chadwick Boseman possessed great power and was able to handle his own in combat against both the Winter Soldier Sgt Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes and Captain America Steve Rogers. And so, the world was introduced to this African superhero who is arguably the wealthiest superhero in the Marvel Comics fold. We couldn’t wait for the guys at Marvel to make a complete movie with him as the main character. We did wait, seeing as we didn’t have a choice, but it was worth the wait. I have decided to list a few things that I think contributed to making the movie such a good one but will have to restrict my scope since I don’t want to be writing any spoilers.
Marvel has always paid particular attention to the quality of dialogue between their characters in all the movies of the MCU. This one was no different. There was a healthy sense of humour interspersed within the action such that the cinema was often thrown into fits of laughter. Isn’t it just annoying when a movie is all action and no humour? The Black Panther was not having that and we did laugh to our fill. The African accents helped a lot and who knew Winston Duke was so funny?
The first bit of action in the movie happened* in Nigeria, somewhere in the Sambisa Forest which is a stronghold for a deadly terrorist group. In this scene, some of the terrorists speak phrases in Hausa, a language common to that area. As a Nigerian watching the movie in Northern Nigeria, I was impressed at the attention to details. Many other African cultures were represented in the movie and they did quite well in making sure that cultures were properly researched. Names were properly pronounced and at least for us Africans, that goes a long way.
Have you ever wondered about how other actors would have fared if they acted your favourite movie characters? Sometimes actors do so well acting a particular part that you can’t imagine someone else doing it better. That was the case in this movie. Everyone fit into their roles so well, it would be beyond impressive; from the ageless Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker to the impressive Michael B Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o. All but two of the main characters were black and that in itself was a record in the MCU. I say kudos to the guys in charge of casting.
CGI has increasingly become a core part of our action movies in recent years. It is however also important that it be used correctly. The#blackpanther movie is set in the make believe country of Wakanda with unheard of levels of technological development in everything from medicine to weapons systems and it was necessary that the graphics to help us enjoy this imaginary world be spot on….and they were.
Combat routines and sequences
I really wanted to go into this but I doubt I can say what I really have in mind without dropping spoilers. Suffice it to say that the fight sequences were really good. Considering that they had to incorporate those new technology that we aren’t too used to such as spears, shields, and Shuri’s other gadgets; the sequences often excited the cinema enough to cause clapping and cheers.
One of the main things that fuelled the hype around this movie was the African representation. Black people all over the world have chosen to see this movie about an important representation of the Motherland, even if it is of a make believe country and culture. It is a bold move by Marvel and many black people have seen an attention from Hollywood that has been grossly lacking. I dare say that in recent years, this is the only movie that has attracted so much goodwill from black people the world over. Black Panther was loudly African, from the colourful asoebi-like costumes to the earthen floor of the throne room. Thank you #Marvel.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, please go and see it so we can begin talking more specifically. If you have seen it, tell me what you think made the movie such a good one….without spoilers of course.