The latest movie from the Disney / Marvel slate is Black Panther, and I’m here to tell you that it’s a blast. It is fast-paced, awesome to look at, and it really changes up the Marvel universe in a way that is completely fresh and original. I can also confirm without giving anything away, that is indeed funny too. I am a big comic book fan, but I admit to not knowing much about the backstory of Black Panther. If you don’t know very much (or anything) about this character or stories, this movie spells out everything and you get to learn all about how Black Panther came to be.
The Acting in Black Panther Is Top Rate
Every actor in this film is top rate. Even the smaller roles are filled with memorable performances. In the role of Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman excels. We have seen him in action briefly in the Marvel Universe, but he proves that he is as good as any other lead we have seen so far, if not better. There are so many big actors in this film and notably, Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger jumps off the screen. He brings the film to another level. As Black Panther’s sister, Shuri, Leticia Wright is the comic relief and a super awesome role model for any kid watching. (Hey Marvel, could we please see her own spin-off?)
Now let’s take a moment to talk about Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia and Danai Gurira as Okoye. They steal every scene they are in and I could watch those two in their own spin-off. (Hey, Marvel – Once again, PLEASE give them their own movie. PLEASE. Thanks.) More importantly, the ALL of the women in the film are 100% bad a$$. They are the army of warriors who protect the king and the kingdom. They are strong, noble and amazing role models for young girls.
Black Panther is a Feast for the Eyes and Ears
The special effects are like all Marvel movies: exceptional. I had only some minor complaint with the CGI battle scenes, but overall it is a solid effort. Like the Thor movies, you as the viewer have to buy into an alternate reality, and once you do, it all plays accordingly. Even though this movie entirely takes place on Earth, there are times you will be reminded of Asgard.
The music is one of the best parts of the movie. It is powerful and raises the visuals to stunning heights. Every scene is brilliant with color, the fight scenes are amazing and the costumes are even better than the Thor films. Seriously, this movie will win Academy Awards next year for original music and costumes.
Can you take the kids to see Black Panther?
In a word, yes. To be clear, Black Panther is full of comic book violence similar to all other Marvel movies. In my opinion, this film is heavier on the hand-to-hand combat, and little ones may be alarmed in a couple of spots. That being said, as a parent, there is plenty of warning that a hand-to-hand combat scene is about to happen. You may wish to cover your little one’s eyes in those parts.
Black Panther is rich with powerful, deep messages about equality, inner strength, doing what is right and the power of women. It provides social and emotional context on why the “villain” does what he does. Kids under 7 will probably not be able to understand it and may find the fighting a bit too intense, but older kids will get to see a new motivation for fighting that does not revolve around some power source, or stone or impending invasion. This was totally refreshing as a viewer.