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Black Panther is an Ode to Black Excellence

Written By Sienna Rodriguez-Truley, Staff Writer

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Marvel has done it again. It’s no surprise to me that this intro movie, packed with action and great supporting roles, is probably the best I have seen in years. This cinematic masterpiece is everything in a hero movie that was missing from my childhood.

Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation known as Wakanda. Wakanda is an advanced society hidden within the heart of the African continent, where T’Challa serves both as its ruler and its sacred protector, the Black Panther.

The layers that director Ryan Coogler slowly unveils throughout the duration of this movie were not subtle in any form. While I believe the movie was phenomenal, there were parts that should have been shown more and spoken less.

For instance, there were certain parts that I wish were filled more. Klaw, who is played by Andy Serkis, is introduced in the beginning of the film as an antagonist who wants to exploit Wakanda for its resources.

Serkis’s role as the “bad guy” was short-lived and didn’t add as much more to the storyline in its span. It took the attention away from the real antagonist, Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger. He is no stranger from a strong character role, having just played the lead in “Creed” back in 2015.

However, I felt as though there were times when he didn’t connect with his role.  Disney could, perhaps, have played a factor in why Killmonger’s character made some scenes awkward. His message is not only important and valid, but it was something that wasn’t written for a black audience, in my opinion, in that we already know these messages too well. Several of his lines were too straightforward and felt forced, but the screenwriter is to blame for not building his character with more depth and room for imagination.

Killmonger initially has good intentions of sharing the wealth and knowledge to African descendants who are struggling outside of Wakanda. This goes sour when he becomes so infatuated with conquering and ruling over those who have done our ancestors wrong.

Wakanda is an example of what Africa could have been had it not been colonized and stripped of its wealth. The idea of this glorious African nation comes is timely with the Black Lives Matter movement still going strong.

I have been anticipating this movie for a long time and I was not disappointed. It’s reminiscent of Wonder Woman; both films showed strong, independent women who were warriors and capable of anything. Lupita Nyong’o left me completely awestruck. Anytime Nyong’o is on screen she captivates the crowd and never ceases to amaze me. I’m hoping that Marvel continues her story in an additional chapter of their Cinematic Universe, so I can see more of Nakia.

It is evident there was a tremendous amount of effort put to make this an experience, rather than a movie. From the sounds echoing in my theater chair to the visual effects and costume design, the details and attention that Coolger gave to everything truly is astonishing.

What more can be said besides praise for the amount of representation and diversity within this film? Black America is here in Hollywood, and here to stay. I have never been prouder. Wakanda forever.

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