Infinity War Countdown: Black Panther

This is it! The Last movie before Infinity War. I hope you’re reading this while you’re in the theater! I know I’m in line at mine. Let’s go.

After Black Panther smashed box office records, Infinity War has a lot to live up to. The film stands on its own, and it’s even a reasonable place to enter into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the first origin story I’ve seen in a long time that captured me, and swept me up on an amazing adventure. I actually learned about T’Challa’s culture and it wasn’t a rehashing of something we’ve seen before in MCU.

It was a breath of fresh air, even if it was slightly like The Lion King. 

Black Panther picks up right after the end of Civil War. T’Challa returns to Wakanda, ready for his coronation as king. This next step in his life is steeped in the tragedy of his father’s death. Though we knew little of T’Chacka before his death, we learn all about his life and mistakes and it is the core of T’Chala’s struggles.

Black Panther also features one of the best developed villains in the history of the MCU. Eric Kilmonger is ruthless, and yet you empathize with his cause. You know why he’s fighting for the crown, and it’s not a bad reason. You’re also forced to recognize that T’Chala’s family did not make the wisest decisions in the name of protecting their people.

Who doesn’t love a hero in conflict with their own culture? Despite the fantastical nature of the Black Panther’s powers, the film is grounded in reality. Kilmonger just wants Wakandans to fight for oppressed black people around the world. When T’Chala must to stare down his country’s poor choices, we as the audience have to recognize how colonialization and slavery have erased cultures from the world, and how we actively ignore these issues we have created.

When was the last time a Marvel movie made you think about things outside of the theater?

Some have remarked that the women of Black Panther outshine the star himself, but I’m here to tell you that was intentional. A king survives only because of his family, and more importantly the people in which he chooses to surround himself.

I loved Nakia as a romantic interest. Their relationship is very respectful and the writers don’t give us the origin of how they came together. I love that! She’s already chosen her work and passion over her lover. We know who she is from the beginning. Well that, and how amazing she is kicking ass and serving justic in her first scene.

Okoye is also amazing. Of course I love Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead, but this role in Black Panther sealed the deal for me! Gurira is a power house! Okoye’s decision to defend her country over an individual resonates. She’s a true soldier, and battles with her feelings and her duty. This type of woman does not get the spotlight in theaters like Okoye does.

Of course, Shuri, the little sister, tech wizard, smart ass, and woman in the chair. The scenes with her and T’Challa reminded me of James Bond and Q, but with more charm. Leticia Wright is endearing and I can’t wait to see what she specifically brings to Infinity War. Let’s not forget her one liners about Martin Freeman (why was he in this movie??) And her rehabilitation of Bucky. Shuri is a dynamic character and she’ll bring some great scenes to Infinity War for sure.

Overall, Black Panther is a shining gem on Marvel’s figurative gauntlet. It’s reviving people’s hope in hero films again. It’s shown Marvel that the world responds positively to diverse films, and that there should be many more.

Anyway, I wish I could do this review more justice, but Infinity War is about to start!

The Overthinkers hope you’ve enjoyed #overthinkinginfinitywar. Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought of Infintiy War in the comments!

[Photo courtesy of Marvel]

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