By Khaleel Herbert
In the latest film in the ever-growing Marvel Universe, T’Challa, Get On Up and Marshall’s Chadwick Boseman, awaits his crowning ceremony to become the new king of Wakanda.
For the Marvel nuts out there, you might recall in Captain America: Civil War that T’Challa’s father died in an explosion caused by Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis from The Lord of the Rings). Now T’Challa must take his father’s place. But his first day on the job doesn’t go so smoothly.
Klaue swiped some vibranium, Wakanda’s main power source, to make weapons. T’Challa, equipped with a new high-powered Black Panther suit that can withstand and deflect any attack, goes to search for him in South Korea in hopes to bring him back to Wakanda for trial. Even with the help of T’Challa’s ex-girlfriend and general (Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira) he’s not able to hold Klaue for long.
Erik Killmonger (Creed and Fruitvale Station’s Michael B. Jordan), Klaue’s crony, comes to his rescue. While in combat, T’Challa sees Erik holding his father’s talisman. Erik is said to be a long-lost Wakanda descendant, but no one knows who he is. He decides to pay Wakanda a visit and claim T’Challa’s throne.
Black Panther, unlike Batman v. Superman, Spider-Man: Homecoming or Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is not just hype. It’s the Marvel version of the Lion King with T’Challa as Simba and Erik as Scar, minus Timon and Pumbaa and the Hakuna Matata sing-along. (There’s no need for me to see Disney’s live-action reincarnation of it next year).
Like Wonder Woman, Black Panther is a superhero film that breaks the stereotypical barriers that superheroes are only white men. He’s a crime-fighter who lives to protect his people in the Utopian city of Wakanda, which is practically the New York City or Gotham City of Africa. His sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), equips him with high-powered gadgets and Okoye (Danai Gurira), his general, and her woman-squad also assist him in his pursuit for justice. Plus, he rules over five tribes. How cool is that?
Black superheroes are rare in this society, but the comic book world is trying to change that. It’s a hoot to see a superhero that kids and adults of all colors, genders, shapes and sizes can identify with.
With an all-star cast including What’s Love Got to Do with It’s Angela Bassett, Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya and The Butler’s Forest Whitaker, great visual effects, epic fight scenes and comedic moments, how could you not want to see Black Panther?
Black Panther is an epic joyride and great tie-in to the Marvel Universe in order to prepare us for Avengers: Infinity War in May. As always, stick through the credits for bonus scenes.
Studio: Marvel Studios (2 hr. 14 mins)
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis
Director: Ryan Coogler
Story: T’Challa, the current Black Panther of Wakanda, takes over the throne as king after the death of his father.
Final Score: A+