The first day of the school break (Friday, March 16th) was one of our favorites. We went to see Black Panther and later celebrated the Lunar New Year over Chinese food.
Black Panther Outfits
As you may have noticed, my family has been looking forward to the Black Panther movie for a while. (You can read Black Panther: Why Representation Matters More Than Ever.) We designed a second set of t-shirts to wear while seeing the movie once we realized that we couldn’t use character names and locations without licensing agreements from Marvel. 🙂 You can find most of the collection on Amazon.
Black Panther Movie Review
Before watching the movie, my youngest son Sean jokingly asked, “We’re going to say it’s good even if it’s not, right?” I reminded him that I hate lies so if it wasn’t good, then we would just be quiet about it. Fortunately, that was not the case. Black Panther‘s box office success is not a fluke…we all loved it! I taped our initial stream of thoughts right after the movie and I’m sharing them below Spoilers are ahead, so please stop reading this post if you haven’t watched the movie yet.
Although it was different from what I expected, it was great. The imagery was breathtaking. At times, the movie made you laugh and other times it made you emotional. It was like a James Bond 007 movie at certain parts with the spies (Nakia and Zuri). The fight scenes were good. The scenes where the different Wakandan tribes gathered together were powerful. There was a lot of political and social commentary and I need to see it again to really catch everything. One of my favorite quotes in the movie is “Wise people build bridges. Foolish people build barriers.”
As for the characters, T’Challa was my favorite but I really liked the Killmonger character too. He is one of the best Marvel villains (along with Loki and Vulture). Shuri was funny and intelligent with impressive technology like the car. I appreciate how the women and men worked together. T’Challa respected and trusted women to fight alongside him. That was great because often times in society, women and men fight to dominate one another instead of working together. I like that they showed various genders and races working together in a trustworthy manner. All of the White people (like FBI agent Everett K. Ross) in the movie were not evil colonizers.
Another theme was that great people whom we love (i.e. T’Chaka) can still do bad things and make poor choices because they are human. If T’Chaka and N’Jobu would have talked, maybe they could have worked things out, came to a compromise and done great things together. They were both partially right so that outcome would have been beneficial for everyone. Meanwhile, I appreciated how T’Chaka told T’Challa that he had to be his own King. We all have to be our own person – not just live and try to be like another person (even ones we love, like our parents). This is one of the best Marvel movies. I have to see it again to decide if it is the best in my opinion.
This movie was amazing! I loved the entire cast. One of the villains (Klaue) was hilarious. M’Baku was very funny too and I appreciate the fact that he came through and supported T’Challa’s cause at the end. Shuri was my favorite because she was smart, funny and pretty too. The storyline was meaningful and the main villain (Killmonger) was sympathetic. I only wished that Killmonger’s character could have changed and that he and T’Challa could have worked together to use their nation’s wealth and technology for themselves and others – to benefit others, not to conquer and rule them. Black Panther also showed that great people (including parents) can make awful choices. I loved the relationship T’Challa had with his father T’Chaka. There were several messages that were politically relevant today including the quote that Reggie shared about bridges and barriers. I’m not an isolationist so I believe that the Wakandan nation was wrong to selfishly hoard all of their advancements and not help others.
I laughed. I cried, especially during the father/son scenes. (I don’t think that I’ll ever be ready to let my parents go!) I also unexpectedly got emotional and teared up near the beginning when Okoye said, “We’re home” and you saw all of the various Wakandan tribes on the side of the mountain. It was a touching imagining of what could have been possible in the absence of Africa’s colonization. (Don’t worry. I know that Wakanda is not real. It was just bittersweet because we will never know what could have been.)
It showed Africa in a way that most people don’t show it. Africa is usually shown as struggling and poor with nothing to offer – not rich with a good culture. Killmonger was a good villain. Most villains want to destroy the world for no reason but Killmonger wanted to take over Wakanda to fulfill his dead father’s dreams. In the end, T’Challa is influenced by him and tries to fulfill Killmonger’s desires to help more people – just in another way. All of the cast did a good job. The best parts were when they would drink the heart-shaped herb and go into the spirit world. I also liked that the movie showed T’Challa’s growth. Another favorite part was near the end when T’Challa and Killmonger were talking together as they watched the beauty of Wakanda. There were not a lot of flaws. (I couldn’t understand what they were saying sometimes because of the accents. I also didn’t like the fight scenes on the train tracks because they looked fake.) This movie was really good though.
“I agree with what everyone else has said so far. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t really know how to describe my feelings about this movie.” (This was interesting because Sean often has the most to say. Fair enough. It was a different type of movie. Sean did share that his favorite part was when Shuri showed T’Challa all of the new tech though.)
As you can see, the Black Panther movie met and exceeded our expectations. My husband Reggie and I are going to see it in the movie theater again for our March date night. We hardly ever pay to see movies in the theater multiple times but that’s how good it was! Bravo to Ryan Coogler, the writers (we always love Stan Lee’s cameo appearances), cast and crew. The thought and care put into Black Panther were obvious. We see you!