The Echoes

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Black Panther

Latest Marvel film a triumph, despite packing difficulties

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Black Panther was one of the most anticipated films of the entire year. How could it have gone wrong?

Unfortunately, it did–but not in the way most people would think.

The movie followed the king of a fictional African country known as Wakanda. The king, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), must stop a rebel uprising within Wakanda before it brings about its own destruction.

Before he can deal with this, though, T’Challa must come to grips with himself. A dark secret is hiding within the depths of Wakanda’s history, waiting to be uncovered.

The representation of Africa was amazing. Modern beats mingled with traditional South African rhythms through the whole movie.

Ruth E. Carter, the fashion designer, took influences from a wide sphere of African cultures, such as from the Ndebele people for the Dora Milaje, T’Challa’s all-female guard. Killmonger, the main villain, had a mask inspired by the Igbo people.

The scenery and establishing shots were absolutely gorgeous. The Wakandan architecture really stuck out to me because of how seamlessly it melded Western and African influences.

The cinematography was sort of difficult to go through at times. One scene near the beginning, where T’Challa fights some human traffickers, was so dark I couldn’t see what was happening. It was positively dizzying.

When it was more lit up, like a bombastic beatdown inside a casino, it was gorgeous to see T’Challa brandish the never-ending gadgetry at his disposal.

Speaking of his gadgetry, who made it? Was it SHIELD, or some Tony Stark-esque impostor?

No. It was his sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright). Women are given more than half of the starring roles in the movie, making this a wonderful effort for both the black community and the women’s community.

The actors all did a brilliant job portraying their characters, in particular the stellar Michael B. Jordan (not to be confused with the basketball player) who portrayed Killmonger.

However, the biggest issue was the pacing.

The first half of the movie felt a tad underwhelming. The buildup took way too long… but the last half was too fast.

It felt like we just got introduced to Killmonger when the movie ended. We didn’t get to see a whole lot of him in his element.

Aside from that, Black Panther was a wonderfully done movie and a perfect tribute for Marvel’s first–and greatest–black superhero.

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Black Panther