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Wakanda Forever: A review of Marvel’s Black Panther

Morgan Williams, Staff Writer

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Marvel studios completely outdid themselves with their newest, most political movie yet. Black Panther not only surpassed the expectations of many but also made more than their projected profit, earning more than 350 million dollars in the first weekend. That’s more than any other Marvel movie ever! After seeing the movie, I can absolutely see why it was such a hit. From the bold political statements to the whimsical costumes, the movie kept your attention from start to finish

The Marvel story takes place in the fictional country of Wakanda. Wakanda is the most technologically advanced country in the world but chooses to hide its resources in order to avoid exploitation. This depiction of an African country is the most advanced was significant, considering the common perception of this continent is that there is nothing but desert and starving children. Wakanda is led by King T’Challa who is played by actor Chadwick Boseman. In the Captain America’s “Civil War” movie, T’Challa’s father was killed in a bombing, causing T’Challa to assume his position as King. T’Challa faces many different obstacles while becoming king, and learns a family secret along the way.

Ryan Coogler directed the film, adding yet another blockbuster movie to his resume. Coogler has directed films like “Fruitvale Station”, and “Creed”, before his Marvel debut. Ryan highlighted many of the world’s issues in this film while still keeping it light and action-packed. For example, the storyline of Erik Killmonger, played by image award-winning Michael B. Jordan, told the tale most African American’s know all too well. Not knowing your roots, due to the enslavement of one’s ancestors, causes the feeling of disdain to engulf the mind of most African Americans, especially those who reside in impoverished areas experiencing hardships every day. Killmonger’s point of view made it hard to villainize  Erik because his pain was so relatable. Killmongers dying words were “Bury me in the ocean all of my ancestors who jumped off ships because they knew that death was better than bondage”.

Coogler also depicted women in places of high power and influence through Wakanda’s epic warriors: Dora Milaje, lead by Okoye ( Danai Gurira), King T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright) who headed all the technological advances in Wakanda, and Nakia (Lupita N’yongo) a spy, and also T’Challa’s love interest. The fact that these women were able to run their country, alongside their king, without the men feeling emasculated was one of the most powerful political statements the movie made.

This movie was an all-around victory for not only Marvel Studios, but Ryan, and the rest of those involved with the film. In its opening weekend, Black Panther brought in $350 million, breaking box office records. All we can say now is, WAKANDA FOREVER!

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Wakanda Forever: A review of Marvel’s Black Panther