16 Feb
Film & TV

Wakanda Forever… a Black Panther Review

This is not a drill! I repeat this is not a drill! Far from being that Marvel movie that cast mainly people of color, Black Panther transcends that. It’s more than that! This film directed by Ryan Coogler sounds like empowerment to older and younger generations who never had a superhero to fully relate to. Coogler’s critically acclaimed comic-book movie came, slayed and conquered. All while it torpedoes stereotypes and is just a good superhero movie at the same damn time.

Welcome to Wakanda

In Black Panther, utopia is the state of Wakanda. Pretending to be a third-world country in Africa, Wakanda is secluded by a forcefield that hides the worlds rarest resource named Vibranium. In order to protect its most valuable raw material, Wakanda must remain unseen to the outside world. But in reality its the most technologically advanced place run by T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, the throne’s heir who becomes king. Little did he know that his lost cousin Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) from Oakland, California, would try to dethrone him. And homeboy be looking fine as fuck, while trying to expose Wakanda to the world.

Wakanda Forever… a Black Panther Review

Wakanda Forever

Even if you’re not a fan of the genre there is a bigger message to take away from this story. Black Panther works wonderfully as a non-abrasive critique of old but still common colonialistic attitudes. Killmonger, fueled by black anger against historic white oppression, wants to use Wakanda’s riches to fuel a worldwide black uprising. By contrast, our hero has another road to revolution in mind.

Instead of reversing colonialism, the superhero makes clear in the mid-credit scene at the UN that Wakanda will use its power to reframe the debate. Rejecting the use of violence and looking to education and technology to raise up the oppressed. It’s an ending filled with symbolic meaning. Starting this weekend, a lot of black and brown kids are going to be watching this movie with a similar sense of awe and wonder. Because, for once, the main superhero, and almost everyone else, looks just like them. It was a long time coming, but Wakanda forever. PS: here’s another picture of Killmonger, ’cause homeboy looked fine as fuck.

For the culture

Wakandan people are the perfect embodiment of African heritage. If it were up to a few of our editors, we’d considered this film instant-cult. Never did we feel so empowered and proud of our African roots and traditions. Every aspect of this beautiful representation was appreciated: the strong accents, the rituals, the fine arts, the traditional costumes, and women having the upper hand this time around. Referring to T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) who is an evolved Einstein in charge of the scientific and technological improvement of Wakanda. And we’re not forgetting about Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). Two fearless female warriors who fought by King T’Challa’s side to bring down the villains.

The entire cast creates characters with complexities barely granted to minorities in cinema. The characters are capable of contradictory responses with feelings and fears that are instantly relatable. This, flavored with the 50 shades of black and brown not often explored in blockbuster entertainment, leaves a lasting impression. Especially for an anti-hero as Killmonger. Also, did I mention homeboy looked fine as fuck?

Photo credits: Marvel, Disney

Wakanda Forever… a Black Panther Review
Wakanda Forever... A Black Panther Review
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