Black Panther Review & Thoughts

Let me start with this: Marvel’s Black Panther movie is amazing. It’s well done in every way—acting, directing, special effects, etc. Go see the movie—you’ll be glad you did.

Consider that to be fact. Now my opinion about the movie and things in general.

With today’s extremely volatile racial and political environment I was concerned that the movie might have some political undertones. I worried that it might drive an even bigger wedge into the already divided nation.

To my relief and my delight, it did not seek to divide, but to entertain. And it did that very well.

Because it has a black director, a mostly black cast and takes place in a make-believe African  country, many have been casting the movie as the greatest of all time. It’s the best acting, directing—definitely the best superhero, best Marvel ever made. FINALLY, black people get a fair place in movies with a well done black hero. Some places even used the movie to set up voter registration in hopes of increasing black participation. All of this (what I call) negative hype almost kept me from going to see the movie. Again, I worried that the movie would have a political agenda. Again, it didn’t.

When a superhero movie does well, everyone goes, “superhero movies are now popular” and everyone starts making hero movies. Then it’s westerns, sci-fi, horror—whatever is doing well, everyone in the industry wants to make that type of movie. Often to the point of multiple rip-offs on TV and DVD.

Hollywood just went through a round of “black people are not represented” and there was a massive movement to “fix” the problem. For the record, the same can be said for female actors and directors along with big female heroes. They’re not represented.

We live in a country driven by demand. If people want black heroes—if they want strong female characters—then those books, comics, movies, etc. will be created. The problem isn’t that no one was willing to do these movies, it’s that there was no demand for them.

Back when Michael Keaton’s Batman came on the scene people started to realize there might be a market for superhero movies. Marvel finally struck gold with the X-men movies (I believe it was through 20th Century Fox at the time). When Marvel started making their own movies, they had developed a successful formula for the genre.

Some the more recent Batman movies (pre Ben Aflac) increased the strength of superhero movies.

blog_pantherI could ramble on with a lot more examples and detail, but I suspect you’re getting the gist of my argument here. It’s not that it’s a superhero movie. It’s not the color of the hero or the actors in the movie. It’s not male verses female (anyone here see the Wonder Woman movie?). What some people are finally starting to realize is that anytime you treat a project with respect you have the chance of creating something great. When Hollywood finally stopped trying to make comic book movies and started treating the stories seriously, they started making good superhero movies.

The Black Panther was a very good movie. I don’t know if I’d call it better than the first Iron Man, first Captain America, first Avengers or first Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Marvel has put out some really good (and a few not so good) movies. I would rank Black Panther up there with the list I just gave. It’s definitely one of Marvel’s best movies. And as such, it’s a really good movie.

My hat’s off to Marvel. Even though there was a slight trace of politics at the very end of the movie, it wasn’t anything that didn’t fit the story and the movie itself was not a political thing. Nicely done.

Plus, if you’re into strong hero types, there’s a plethora of them in this movie. And they’re white, black, male, female—do I need to go on? There are very strong and impressive female and male characters. There are strong black and white heroes as well as a couple of very strong “love to hate” bad guys—black and white.

Please, do yourself a favor and go see the movie.