I'm a lover of detailed world building in my science fiction and fantasy. The same goes with my super hero movies. (Why is the UN in Vienna??? Is it because NYC was flattened by aliens?) Seriously... detailed world building get me going....
Without reading a single issue of comic, I was already excited... just to see this country that is absolutely untouched by us white folks! Now, I understand that being ... me... there is stuff that's lost on me. I totally accept this. But I can, and do appreciate all the amazing details that the production designers and costuming designers put into the movie.
Seriously, go read this twitter thread! I'll wait.
Ok. And now... the movie.
Black Panther is set up to be a simple story about T'challa's ascension to the throne and how he protects his people.
But it's SO much more than that!
It's both a story about this nation that grew and flourished outside of Europe's influence and a story about the people that were left behind. A country that has AMAZING resources and technology vs the poverty and violence of the outside world. In the end it's the story of two cousins: one born in privileged in Wakanda, and one orphaned in Oakland.
Marvel did a wonderful job at building a villian that had a purpose and motivations that made sense. Honestly, I'm sure his motivations made sense to many, many people that were sitting in theaters all over the country. Even if you're not African-American... by watching the news and reading what is going on in this country's present and its past you get a real sense of why he wanted to lead Wakanda and finally be the oppressor for once.
The female supporting cast is totally top notch. They all have wonderfully complex characters. They are all strong and brilliant. I SO want to see what would happen is Tony Stark, Peter Parker and Shuri would get together. I want to see her run intellectual laps around Tony! It's all of them. Watching the differing views of Nakia and Okoye was amazing. One so focused on doing good, the other focused on protecting her country. And Okoye is such a badass! I could watch her beat the crap out of people all day!
~The Outside World~
I loved that from minute one, we were in on the joke. We knew the truth. it made watching the UN and Everett Ross thinking that T'Challa was a country bumpkin even funnier. I cringed at some of the comments that Ross made. But they let Ross in, and then let the world in. Those two acts were amazingly brave on the part of T'Challa. In one lovely post-credit scene... everything about Wakanda changed.
I'm sure I have more to say about the movie... but I think I need another viewing to sort it out.
But I am thrilled that Marvel decided to have a movie that showed People of Color that they can have their own heroes. I loved that Marvel showed that putting Black faces on screen brings in money (because we all know that money drives Hollywood). I remembered sitting in Wonder Woman, watching a hero that looked like me. I hope that others got that same joy when they saw Black Panther.
I just hope that Marvel doesn't destroy Wakanda in the next movie. They have a history of flattening cities.