“Black Panther” Wows Audiences

The movie “Black Panther” premiered on Feb. 16 and since then has been stunning audiences, making $242.1 million during just its four-day opening weekend.

“Black Panther” is the eighteenth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and features a predominately African American cast and crew, including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, and Winston Duke.

The film takes place in the present-day fictional African nation of Wakanda. After the death of his father, T’Challa or Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), returns to his home country where he becomes king. However, his role as both king of Wakanda and the Black Panther is challenged by an enemy from his father’s past. This enemy puts Wakanda and the world in danger, causing T’Challa to fight to regain what is rightfully his.

On a scale of five stars, “Black Panthergets four and a half. The half-star loss comes only because the film starts off with a flashback that does not make sense until later in the movie, leaving the viewer confused.

On the other hand, the acting in “Black Panther” is  phenomenal. Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa/the Black Panther, the protagonist of the movie. Opposite Boseman, Michael B. Jordan plays the main antagonist, Erik Killmonger.  

Both actors play their roles well. As T’Challa, Boseman shows us the versatility of his acting skills, going from diplomatic king one minute to skilled fighter the next. Jordan convinces audiences that he really is Killmonger and makes it seem that his motives are real. This has viewers rooting for him throughout the movie. Another impressive detail about the entire cast is how they keep the Wakandan accent consistent and authentic throughout the movie.

The score of “Black Panther” is another highlight. Created by Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson, the score features such standouts  as “Wakanda,” “Killmonger,” and “A King’s Sunset.”

Each of the 28 pieces balances traditional African music with the typical themes of superhero battles. Göransson’s score at no point takes away from the plot of “Black Panther.” It only adds to the epicness of the film.

Another amazing part of the film was how production designer Hannah Beachler handled the creation of an entire fictional country. In the creation of Wakanda, Beachler thought of every detail, from the Wakandan language and distinct culture of each of the five tribes to the buildings in Wakanda. Beachler drew inspiration from multiple existing countries and tribes, such as Ethiopia and Uganda, while incorporating what is known about Wakanda from the “Black Panther” comics.

Costume designer Ruth E. Carter also drew inspiration from Africa to create the costumes, basing them on those of the Xhosa, Suri, and Zulu people, among others.

The buildings and costumes were unique to the fictional nation of Wakanda, while still honoring traditional African culture. The research and thought that went into production and costume design paid off in the end, because both made the world of “Black Panther” believable.  

“Black Panther” was another success by the Marvel team. I highly recommend it!