By Ariyana Hossain, Year 12
To cut this article short: stop what you’re doing and go watch this movie.
Not convinced? Let the ratings do the talking.
Only a fortnight into its release, the movie has already grossed for $800 million worldwide, potentially becoming the biggest US domestic release of 2018!
It’s no doubt that the MCU has been doing tremendously well in the box office these past 10 years since its debut in Iron Man. But 18 films into the MCU, Blank Panther seems to stand out from the crowd. It delivers everything you could ask for in a superhero movie: amazing cast performances, stunning visual effects, complex characters and action scenes that’ll have you at the edge of your seat. But the film’s greatest impact is its potential to completely reinvent the realities of studio filmmaking—it’s nothing like we’ve ever seen before. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a good movie because of its predominantly black cast, it’s a really good superhero movie that also happens to feature a black protagonist.
It’s empowering in the same way Wonder Woman was for women and girls all over the globe in 2017; which is not only a crucial step in the right direction for Hollywood but also a potential game changer when it comes to future superhero movies, whether it be Marvel or DC. Movies like Black Panther break down age old stereotypes that a ‘black movie’ can’t sell overseas through leading by example, just look at the South Korean reception so far.
Representation matters, and now thanks to Black Panther, audiences will know a black superhero that exists in the same league as Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne. Black Panther’s success also opens doors for more diverse representation in the future, with the Defenders and Captain Marvel (MCU’s first female lead!) already on Marvel’s docking order who knows what’s to come? Michelle Obama summed it up quite nicely when she made a rare Twitter appearance to say “I loved this movie and I know it will inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find the courage to be heroes of their own stories.”
What also makes this movie a ‘must-see’ is how super relevant it is to today’s day and age. Although superhero movies don’t have an explicit focus on politics and global affairs they are unavoidably influenced by them—whether it be Cold War Era Batman or anti-Nazi Captain America. Black Panther takes a jab at the current political climate through their intricate world building. (there’s even a reference to Trump’s border wall.) Through the lens of Wakanda—a fictitious nation untouched by all forms of colonialism and more technologically superior to the rest of the world—the movie itself is a metaphor for isolationism in the modern world. A couple of decades ago this movie would have been considered radical, in fact some people will use the same word to describe the movie now. But I think that’s makes it all the more special.
In the end, I could list a dozen more reasons as to why you should watch this movie. But if you do end up watching it (or have already seen it) I guarantee you’ll be leaving theatres trying to book tickets to Wakanda.
· Johnson, T. (2018). Black Superheroes Matter: Why a 'Black Panther' Movie Is Revolutionary. [online] Rolling Stone. Available at: https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/black-superheroes-matter-why-black-panther-is-revolutionary-w509105 [Accessed 1 Mar. 2018].
· Abad Santos, A. (2018). Black Panther is a joyous game changer for Marvel. [online] Vox. Available at: https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/2/15/17008196/black-panther-review [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].